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US and China can settle differences via ADB, says ex-president

Nakao warns Asia on lack of investment in human capital and the environment

Takehiko Nakao, the former president of the Asian Development Bank, speaks to the Nikkei Asian Review in Tokyo (Photo courtesy of ADB).

TOKYO -- Takehiko Nakao was playing his last round on a golf course in the Philippines when the Taal Volcano began erupting less than 80km away. Five days later, in mid-January, as ash continued to coat the skies of Manila, Nakao flew home to Tokyo, ending his seven-year tenure as president of the Asian Development Bank.

Perhaps it was a fitting send-off. Nakao leaves the ADB as the US and China gear up for their next competition: the race to fill Asia's infrastructure financing gap. Meanwhile, the ADB's market share is shrinking in long-time recipient states, who view Chinese financing as easier to secure than clearing ADB's high standards for project loans.

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