DFIs seen playing bigger roles in global crisis

MUSCAT, Oman, April 27, 2009 – Development finance institutions (DFIs) are assuming greater roles in helping economies cope with the global economic crisis as governments roll out stimulus packages.

“This poses both challenges and opportunities for DFIs in the Asia-Pacific region, where these institutions are mostly state-owned,” said Octavio B. Peralta, Secretary General of the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP).

Nearly a hundred delegates from ADFIAP’s member-institutions and other regional and international organizations will tackle their responses to the global economic crisis at the 32nd ADFIAP Annual Meetings in Muscat, Oman on April 27-30, 2009. The theme for this year’s meeting, “Financing Development Amidst the Global Crisis: DFIs Responses, Challenges and Opportunities,” is considered very timely in light of the conditions currently underpinning the global economic system. ADFIAP serves as the focal point of all development banks and other financial institutions engaged in the financing of sustainable development in Asia Pacific.

At an April 27 press conference with the Omani media, Fuimaono Falefa Lima, ADFIAP Chairman and General Manager of the Development Bank of Samoa, said the 32nd ADFIAP Annual Meetings comes at a “more opportune and relevant time” as DFIs craft strategies to effectively respond to the global economic crisis, meet the challenges it poses, and exploit the opportunities it presents.

Samir Saied, General Manager of Oman Development Bank (ODB), an ADFIAP member-institution and this year’s conference host, said the bank is “prepared to keep its level of lending” and “do its part in contributing to the diversification of the Oman economy.” ODB has been financing start-up and expansion projects at state subsidized rates to help the Oman government. The bank is also launching new working capital finance products, including those for the SMEs and the agricultural sector, to help sectors cope with the crisis.

Other member-institutions of ADFIAP, which has a network that spans 40 countries and territories, are also involved in providing liquidity to various industries. Mr. Peralta cited the case of the Development Bank of Japan which has been mandated by the Japan government to inject fresh liquidity to exporting companies hardly hit by the crisis. Through this type of involvement, ADFIAP member-institutions are also aiding in rebuilding confidence in regional economies, he added.