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Thursday, 10 March 1966

E.C.A.F.E. had a large share in fostering an important new regional initiative - the Asian Development Bank, which is expected to begin operations later this year. As honorable members know, I led the Australian delegation to the Ministerial conference in Manila last December which approved, for ratification by governments, the Articles of Agreement of that bank. It has long been recognised that a major obstacle to economic progress in the Asian region is the lack of capital to finance development projects. The Asian Development Bank will help to make good that lack, and to this end the Australian Government proposes to contribute $US85 million to the Bank's working capital. As already indicated, the Government will introduce legislation to authorise ratification of the Articles of Agreement of the Bank. Once our ratification has been approved and the Bank has come into existence we shall expect to play an active role in its work.

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