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

Year in Review 2016

Message from the Dean

ADB Institute (ADBI) collaborates with the ADB headquarters in Manila on demand-oriented research, and capacity building and training.

One of our main interests is infrastructure. Many Asian countries have huge infrastructure needs but insufficient funds. Public–private partnerships are, therefore, important, but many face obstacles because returns on infrastructure are usually low. User charges such as highway tolls or railway fees are a major source of income, but because highways and railways are public goods, governments often regulate their pricing. Water supply and electricity are also public goods and so their price is controlled. It is difficult, therefore, to induce the private sector to invest in them. But a region with good water and electricity supply can attract companies, which would increase employment and land prices, and generate tax revenues with the spillover effects of investment. If tax revenues are partly returned to investors, their rate of return would be greatly increased.

We found this to be the case after studying Uzbekistan’s railways and Philippine highways. The same applies to infrastructure projects in Viet Nam and many other countries. Ha Noi is now planning a ring road but does not have enough public funding. A solution could be to encourage private investors by agreeing to return spillover tax revenues to them after the ring road is completed.

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Capacity Building and Training

Overview

The Capacity Building and Training (CBT) Department had a highly successful 2016. The sectoral range and geographic reach of activities were expanded and continued to tackle ADBI’s priority themes through policy dialogue and training. A total of 43 events were organized in collaboration with 50 national, regional, and international partner organizations in Tokyo and in all five regions of Asia and the Pacific. CBT’s Policy Briefs, a series initiated in 2015, continued in 2016, helping reach out to policy makers across Asia and widely disseminate policy issues discussed at CBT events.

Key Events:

Key Publication

Policy Briefs

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Research

Overview

Events organized by the Research Department in 2016 were focused on issues concerning Sustainable Development Goals and Trade; Trade Finance Gaps; The Digital Economy and New Trade Tools; Overweight and Obesity; Urbanization and Infrastructure; Financial Inclusion, Regulation and Education; Middle-Income Trap; and Aging and Income Inequality in Asia. These were successful in bringing together field experts to talk about prevailing issues faced by ADB member countries that will contribute towards policy formulation. Research output were published in different media formats and are publicly available on the ADBI website.

Highlights of Major Research Activities

Key Publications

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ADBI in the Media