At the forefront of growth and development in Asia and the Pacific


ADBI conducts high-level research on issues with strategic implications for development thinking and policy making in Asia and the Pacific.

Research activities include hosting presentations by distinguished experts, organizing regional and international seminars and conferences to contribute to the development policy debate, and publishing books and papers that help to identify effective development strategies and improve the capacity for sound development in the region. 

Selected topics are based on ADB’s priority sectors and themes, an annual needs survey, and inputs from regional policy makers and partners.

Current Topics

  • Sustainable Development Goals and Trade

    In September 2015, United Nations members agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will guide development efforts until 2030. Trade is recognized as an important means to achieve these goals. This project aims for a triple win: good trade policy that spurs international trade, contributes to development-friendly outcomes, and supports the achievement of the SDGs. More

  • Trade Finance Gaps

    Why don’t small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) trade more? One reason is trade finance. Its critical role as a facilitator of international trade became prominent during the global financial crisis of 2008/09. At that point, there was little data on gaps and the relationship with trade. More

  • The Digital Economy and New Trade Tools

    The emergence of a new trade space has tremendous implications for commercial exchange. This project brings together a number of different areas of research, including digital finance, e-commerce, big data, and blockchain, to systematically examine how trade happens in the digital space and its development implications. More

  • Overweight and Obesity

    In recent years, Asia has not only recorded high rates of economic growth but also of accelerating prevalence of overweight and obesity, which are important risk factors for various chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers. This project aims to better understand the determinants of the growth of overweight and obesity in Asia and the Pacific and to estimate their costs for health systems and the economy. More

  • Financial Inclusion, Regulation, and Education

    Access to affordable financial services for low-income households and small businesses in some Asian countries remains low, impeding economic development and contributing to inequality of income and opportunities. Research in this area identifies and evaluates policy options for expanding financial inclusion while maintaining financial stability. More

  • Housing Policy for Inclusive Growth in Asia

    To mitigate income disparities in emerging Asian countries, housing policy is an important means to support adequate housing for lower-income and middle-income groups. Research in this area examines various ways in which government policy can support housing investment with important implications for the financial stability of advanced and developing countries. More

See other topics