The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has opened a new office in Singapore led by Sonali Tang.

The new unit will have 12 specialists from ADB’s private sector operations team and office of public-private partnership, working in a range of sectors including trade finance, infrastructure, financial institutions, agribusiness, private equity, healthcare and education.

Tang, who will head up the unit, has worked at ADB for five years in various senior roles and currently holds a regional director position, based in Singapore.

ADB says its new office “marks a new stage in the expansion of ADB’s private sector operations” and will make it easier for the bank to engage with clients, project sponsors, financiers and other international financial institutions in the region.

ADB has 68 members, of which 49 are within the Asia Pacific region. Singapore is a founding member of ADB, and in 2012 signed an agreement with the bank to improve knowledge sharing and cooperation in governance and public policy, private sector development, infrastructure and urban development, and climate change.

“Singapore’s sophisticated private and public sector ecosystems will help us to mobilise investments and bring the latest technologies and management skills to development projects across the region,” says ADB’s president Masatsugu Asakawa, who officially opened the office yesterday (March 5) alongside Singapore’s deputy prime minister and minister for finance, Heng Swee Keat. “The new office allows us to work closer with Singapore, leveraging its strengths particularly in infrastructure and innovation to support our developing member countries.”

ADB’s Pacific unit, meanwhile, appointed Leah Gutierrez as director general on Monday (March 2). Gutierrez will lead the implementation of the forthcoming Pacific Approach 2020–2024 initiative, which will serve as ADB’s overall country partnership strategy for 12 of its 14 Pacific developing members.

Gutierrez replaces Carmela Locsin, who served in the role since 2017 and is now a special senior advisor to Asakawa. Prior to her new appointment, Gutierrez was the deputy director general for ADB’s strategy, policy and partnerships unit, having also held senior roles in ADB’s Southeast Asia team since joining the multilateral development bank in 2000.