Record revenue from ADB projects

2004 was another record year for Sweden regarding revenue from project contracts awarded by the Asian Development Bank, ADB, in Manila.      Total Swedish ADB income past year is USD 12.61 million, up 6.7 percent compared with the USD 11.82 million earned 2003.      “And we aim for an even better result this year,” says Mr Ulf Walden, Minister at Sweden’s embassy in Manila.      A breakdown of the 2004 numbers shows that revenue from contracts to Swedish consultants dropped to USD 1.27 million from USD 4.76 million in 2003.      But a major increase 2004 in Swedish goods/civil works contracts to USD 11.34 million, compared with the 2003 USD 7.06 million, was more than enough to make 2004 another all time high year.      Sweden’s increasing share of ADB contracts has not happened by chance.      It is the outcome of a more focused Swedish ADB strategy initiated early 2002, following the new Asia Strategy from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Stockholm.      At that time Swedish companies were lukewarm to the ADB and its projects and activity was low.      Sweden’s embassy in Manila took decisive action late 2002.      It began to target and identify individual decision makers at the Swedish companies’ head offices and provided them with tailor made information about ADB projects relevant to their specific business.      Promotions and road shows followed.      The overall result of this competence building and networking so far is that the contract amount awarded by ADB to Swedish companies has more than doubled in three years.      Interaction between the embassy and ADB is tight and frequent.      Embassy staff meet ADB officials at least once a week to network and be updated on ADB events, rules and regulations.      “The embassy is currently working to tie colleagues at other Swedish embassies in Asia closer to the ADB-work,” says Swedish Ambassador Ms Annika Markovic in Manila. ”Information regarding projects, with a potential for Swedish companies, financed by the ADB must be shared early on.”      And Sweden continues to maintain a high profile with the bank.      Late February is Sweden’s Deputy Foreign Minister, State Secretary Ms Annika Söder due in Manila for a visit to the ADB and its new President, Mr Haruhiko Kuroda, and in mid March will State Secretary Mr Lars-Olof Lindgren from the Ministry of Industry do the same.      At her visit, Annika Söder is expected to sign an agreement with ADB on a Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, trust fund for HIV/Aids.      That would be the second Sida trust fund to the ADB. The first one is a trust fund regarding poverty and environment, which has been operational for a year.      A trust fund is a cooperation agreement which is limited to a certain topic/s.

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