Tokyo–Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao on Saturday called for further investment in infrastructure and high-level technology to boost economic growth in the Asia Pacific region.

Speaking at the 50th annual meeting of the regional development bank in Yokohama, Japan, Nakao said investment in infrastructure, particularly projects that incorporate advanced technologies, would be the bank’s priority in the upcoming years, Efe news reported.

“Enhancing the quality of infrastructure is important in realising sustainable economic growth,” the president said, adding that Asia will need $1.7 trillion each year for investments in the power, transport, telecommunications and water sector until 2030.

“This is more than double our previous estimate, reflecting additional investments needed to support continued growth and address climate change,” he added.

The ADB will also establish a fund for high-level technology projects, aiming to promote the use of advanced and clean technologies to tackle challenges in developing member countries.

“Many developing member countries find it challenging to introduce high-level technologies in their countries due to lack of resources and limited institutional experience,” Nakao said, adding that Japan will contribute $40 million over the next two years.

“I am optimistic about continued robust growth in Asia. There is strong demand, notably consumption by a growing middle class and increasing investment in infrastructure,” the bank chief said.

About 5,000 delegates including government officials, academics and business leaders, among others, were expected to attend the summit, which runs between May 4 and May 7.

The bank, headquartered in Manila, was established in 1966 to promote economic growth and regional integration, and includes 67 members, of which 47 are from the Asia Pacific region. (IANS)