ADB annual meeting in India to discuss sustainable development

The annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank will start Saturday in India, where member countries are set to discuss the region's sustainable development amid expectations that growth will accelerate further.

Finance leaders and delegates from the 67 ADB member countries will gather in Greater Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi to explore ways to deal with energy, disaster management and other key issues in the region.

At the two-day meeting, Takehiko Nakao, who took the helm of the ADB on April 28, is expected to deliver an opening speech and explain the body's agenda items.

At the first business session, a representative of each member country is also expected to deliver a speech.

On the margins of the ADB gathering, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, China and South Korea agreed Friday to enhance the region's financial cooperation, despite the absence of the finance ministers of China and South Korea from their meeting.

In a separate meeting between Japan and ASEAN, their finance chiefs also agreed to deepen economic ties.

The three East Asian countries, meanwhile, skipped their trilateral meeting that has been held almost every year since 2000, amid political discord between Japan and China as well as Japan and South Korea, overshadowing the region's efforts to enhance financial cooperation.

Japan's relations with the two neighbors have deteriorated due to territorial disputes, while a recent controversial visit by Japanese politicians, including Finance Minister Taro Aso, to a war-related shrine in Tokyo has also fueled friction.

The ADB predicts that developing economies will expand 6.6 percent this year and 6.7 percent in 2014, up from 6.1 percent in 2012. However, the institution also pointed to negative impacts on the region's economy from the tensions between Japan and China as well as between China and ASEAN countries, such as the Philippines and Vietnam, over territorial disputes.