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Thursday, 29 October 2009
Page: 7612

Senator STEPHENS (Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector and Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Prime Minister for Social Inclusion) (12:40 PM) —I thank the senators who have participated in the debate on the Asian Development Bank (Additional Subscription) Bill 2009. The purpose of this bill is to obtain approval to allow Australia to subscribe to its additional capital share in the Asian Development Bank. This will ensure that Australia continues to deliver on its commitments within the G20. The G20 has paid a landmark role in responding to the impacts of the global recession. It is important that members of the G20 continue to work together to support recovery in the global economy. In September, the G20 leaders met in Pittsburgh to review progress in addressing the impact of the global recession since their April summit in London. Leaders noted then that we are in the midst of a transition from a crisis to recovery but that a sense of normalcy should not lead to complacency.

Multilateral development banks are planning a very important role in supporting recovery in developing economies and, therefore, the global economy. The multilateral development banks are on track to deliver the US$100 billion in additional lending in response to the global recession. The ADB is helping to support economic recovery and sustained growth and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, of which Australia is an integral part. By working through the ADB to build stronger communities and economies in the region, we of course improve Australia’s own economic and security interests. The April G20 leaders summit agreed to support the ADB through a 200 per cent general capital increase. Australia’s capital contribution will cost around US$197.6 million, payable to the ADB over 10 years. This subscription appeared as a capital measure in the 2009-10 budget and does not directly impact on the budget bottom line. Supporting this bill will enable Australia to demonstrate its leadership globally as well as supporting recovery from the global recession in the Asia-Pacific region. I acknowledge the support of all senators and commend the bill to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.