Australia has pulled ahead of the United States to become the second biggest aid donor to the Asian Development Bank.

The move is part of Canberra's strategy of putting more money into multi-lateral agencies which have specialist expertise in areas such as infrastructure.

In 2012, the Australian Government pledged up to $629 million for the tenth replenishment of the Asian Development Fund.

Asian Development Bank's vice president Stephen Groff says Australia has gone from becoming an important partner for the organisation to becoming one of its largest donors.

"Australia has become our second largest donor to our concessional window," Mr Groff said.

"It has deepened and strengthened our partnership across a wide range of countries, the Pacific ... and in South Asia and South East Asia as well."

Mr Groff says the increase in Australia's funding has not altered what the ADB has been doing.

"It hasn't changed the strategy of what we do or the focus of what we do but [it] has allowed us to do more of what we are undertaking in many of these countries," he said.

Mr Groff says infrastructure development is the ADB's main focus.

"Our overarching goal is addressing poverty in Asia and the Pacific and we do that through a number of different approaches but a lot of it is infrastructure investment," he said.

"We are looking at putting investments in place that are going to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth in all of the countries in which we work."

Mr Groff says the organisation is working very closely with Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill to make infrastructure development a priority.

"One of the largest projects in PNG at the moment is the Lae Port, where we are putting in an entirely new port next to the old port," he said.

"We are working in the roads sector, we are also doing work in public financial management and a large number of other areas that support and ultimately underpin the government's ability to support that growth in the long run."

Mr Groff says while the ADB often takes a long time to finalise projects, it is taking into account a variety of issues.

"We have to look at safeguards, social safeguards, environmental safeguards, making sure that the people in the area are benefiting from that investment," he said.

"That kind of analysis takes time."

Mr Groff says the PNG Government has agreed to work closely together with the Chinese Government at helping to identify and develop projects with specific kinds of safeguards in place.

"That would make that investment have much better returns to the country in the long run," he said.

Mr Groff says the ADB has reached some tentative agreements with the Chinese Government on a number of different investments.

"I think the [Chinese] Government also realises there is value in working together and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts in many of these situations," he said.

"[We] are looking forward to strengthening and deepening that relationship over time."


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