OREANDA-NEWS. Asian Development Bank (ADB) VicePresident Bruce Davis arrived today in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to visit project sites and discuss opportunities to further strengthen ADBs country partnership with the government.

During his visit to PNG, Mr. Davis will also participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new rural health clinic, financed jointly with the Government of Australia under the Rural Primary Health Services Delivery Project.

I am pleased to be able to participate in this important milestone, he said. The construction of new rural health infrastructure such as this is a critical component of helping PNG to make faster rates of progress towards its development goals and lifting the living standards of Papua New Guineans.

Mr. Davis, who is responsible for ADBs Administration and Corporate Management, is scheduled to meet PNG Minister for Treasury Patrick Pruaitch, Minister for National Planning and Monitoring Charles Abel, other government officials and development partners. During his meeting he will discuss ADBs current work and how to further strengthen its country partnership with PNG.

ADBs current assistance program in PNG is focused on transport infrastructure, strengthening the Highlands region road network, expanding the capacity of national ports, improving maritime safety, and enhancing civil aviation networks.

ADB is also working with the government to promote regional cooperation and integration, and to upgrade the customs and quarantine facilities along the border with Indonesia. Together with Australia and other partners, ADB is helping PNG boost the quality and coverage of its health services, and to increase access to financial services in remote and rural areas through its Microfinance Expansion Project.

An ADB member since 1971, PNG is currently ADBs largest public sector borrower in the Pacific region. ADB lending to PNG has increased substantially since 2007, and ADB is now PNGs second-largest development partner. ADBs active portfolio in the country now totals \$1.1 billion, including 22 ongoing loans for 11 projects; 8 grants; 9 technical assistance projects, and 2 private sector loan and equity operations.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members 48 from the region.