NEW DELHI: Takehiko Nakao, president of the Manila-based Asian Development Bank assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi his development finance institution's support to help India grow faster and assured some $7-9 billion credit to the country over the next three years.
"The population of India is its biggest plus-point and as the cost of manufacturing goes up in other countries, India can capitalize on this for promoting manufacturing," said a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office, quoting the visiting dignitary.
Modi said he had a good experience with the ADB in Gujarat, a state of which he was chief minister earlier, in its reconstruction after the devastating earthquake of 2001. He wanted ADB to be a partner in India's progress.
"He wanted ADB to think differently so that it can make an impact," the statement said.
The prime minister wanted ADB to give priority to regional connectivity projects which will help the whole region. He also said his assistance should be additional to current levels of assistance.
He wanted ADB to pick up large demonstration projects and demonstrate breakthroughs which then can be rapidly copied, the statement said.
The ADB president said they are very keen on partnering in the East Coast Industrial Corridor and supporting Smart Cities. He also wanted India's regulatory system to be improved to make doing business easier.
The prime minister asked the ADB president to come back next year and that he would certainly see an improvement in the doing-business indicators. Foreign direct investment is a focus area, Modi mentioned.
Nakao complimented Modi on his Independence Day Speech which he termed inspiring.
He said he was particularly touched by the prime minister's emphasis on change, removing silos within government, improving co-ordination and focusing on results. He said he is trying to do the same in ADB although it is a much smaller organization.
The prime minister remarked that his mindset and the ADB president's mindset are the same.