Asian economic growth will pick up further: ADB president

Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao said Thursday he sees a great possibility for further Asian economic growth down the road supported by strong domestic demand in the region, despite signs of a slowdown seen last year in countries such as China and India.

"I want to emphasize that Asian economic growth has been more robust and resilient" than expected, Nakao said at a press conference in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi, ahead of the ADB's two-day annual meeting starting Saturday.

The ADB is projecting that developing economies in Asia will expand 6.6 percent this year and 6.7 percent in 2014, up from 6.1 percent in 2012. China's economy, the world's growth engine, is expected to expand 8.2 percent in 2013 from 7.8 percent in 2012.

Nakao noted the importance of promoting infrastructure building in emerging Asian countries for the development of the region's economy, saying there is "a tremendous need" for the ADB to aid such projects, while adding that the institution's financial capacity for infrastructure building is limited.

Nakao said the ADB will focus for the time being on maintaining rather than increasing its current lending level.

The 46th annual meeting of the ADB will be the first major event for Nakao, who took the helm of the institution on April 28.

Since its establishment in 1966, a Japanese nominee has traditionally been chosen to head the 67-member regional lender, the voting rights of which are allocated in proportion to members' contributions.