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Year in Review 2017: Capacity Building and Training

Overview

Capacity-building and training (CBT) activities in 2017 addressed poverty reduction and inclusive growth, regional cooperation and integration, infrastructure development, environment and climate change, support for middle-income countries, and promotion of private sector development.

Policy dialogues, training seminars, and workshops were organized in Tokyo and in several developing member countries (DMCs) in collaboration with national, regional, and international partner organizations, including the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Institute, International Labour Organization, International Monetary Fund, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank.

As of 31 December, 51 CBT events were conducted, with over 2,266 participants.

Statistics

Total number of events and activities 51
Total number of events held in Tokyo, Japan 19
Total number of events held in collaboration with the Research Department 5
Total events involving ADB as co-partner 18
Total number of participants 2,266
Total number of government officials from developing member countries 954
Regional breakdown of government officials from developing member countries Southeast Asia: 52%
East Asia: 12%
South Asia: 15%
Central and West Asia: 16%
The Pacific: 5%
Event breakdown by theme Poverty reduction and inclusive growth: 34%
Regional cooperation and integration: 18%
Environment and climate change: 12%
Infrastructure development: 12%
Support for middle-income countries and promotion of private sector development: 18%
Others: 6%

Event Breakdown by ThemeRegional Breakdown of Government Officials
Capacity Building and Training Events

 

Highlights of Major Capacity-Building and Training Activities

The policy dialogue Financing the Sustainable Development Goals in Developing Asia—Social Protection Goals was held in Seoul in February to enhance the capacity of policy makers in ADB DMCs to estimate the fiscal impact of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and facilitate their implementation, particularly SDGs related to social protection. About 35 officials attended the event, which ADBI organized with ADB, the International Labour Organization, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

In Hoi An, Viet Nam, in April, 24 officials from seven DMCs attended the workshop Catalyzing Financial Inclusion in Asia through Financial Literacy and Consumer Protection. They discussed issues related to financial literacy and consumer protection and how they can be promoted to support financial inclusion and economic development in developing Asia.

At the capacity-building workshop Policies and Governance for Gender Equality and Competitive Female Labor in Asia in Seoul in June, 38 policy makers discussed policies on gender equality and women’s empowerment. They were also trained in the theoretical and empirical framework of labor and social policy.

The training workshop CAREC Horticulture Value Chain Development was held in May in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to promote better understanding of the theoretical and empirical framework of horticulture value chain development in Central and West Asia. ADBI partnered with ADB and the CAREC Institute, in cooperation with Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, to organize this event. Twenty-six officials from eight CAREC countries attended.

The Taxation on the Digital Economy workshop was held at ADBI in Tokyo in August. Tax administrators explored responses to the challenges posed by the development of the digital economy to fair taxation and to tax compliance. Responses included changes to domestic tax law and administration and developing policy positions for influencing international standard setting and carrying out treaty negotiations. The policy brief Fair Taxation in the Digital Economy gives more information.

The Joint Training Program on Economic Corridor Development for Competitive and Inclusive Asia was held in Singapore in August. It allowed participants to improve their understanding of the challenges that affect economic corridor development in Asia. ADBI, ADB, the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), and Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs jointly organized this event.

Following on from the 5th NARBO General Meeting held in Thailand in 2013, the 6th Network of Asian River Basin Organizations (NARBO) General Meeting—Water Management was held in January in Jakarta, Indonesia. Seventy officials reviewed NARBO’s past activity and looked at ways to achieve integrated water resources management in river basins throughout Asia—one of the target SDGs.

At the Energy for the Future: The Second CAREC Energy Investment Forum and Astana EXPO–2017 in July in Astana, Kazakhstan, 279 participants, including 77 government officials, gathered to increase their awareness of global energy trends and recent energy innovations to promote new technologies and remove market barriers. The forum also presented and discussed new technologies that could be adopted in Central Asia’s energy sector. ADBI organized the workshop jointly with ADB and the Government of Kazakhstan.

An ADBI workshop, Financing Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Developing Asia and the Pacific, was held in July in Tokyo, attended by 30 participants, including 8 senior government officials. The workshop focused on financing requirements for fighting climate change and identified possible funding sources.

The policy workshop Green Energy, Transportation, and Green Cities was organized in cooperation with Jeju International Electric Vehicle EXPO in March on Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. Participants visited the headquarters of KAKAO Corporation in Jeju (the Republic of Korea's mobile services giant) to learn how a global information technology company works in small, isolated areas.

The policy dialogue Green Infrastructure and Poverty Reduction in the Pacific Island Countries took place in July 2017 in Papua New Guinea. Policy makers from seven ADB DMCs learned more about the links between green infrastructure development and poverty reduction, and discussed how green and cost-effective infrastructure projects can reduce poverty.

Efficient infrastructure connectivity allows goods and people to move around the region without significant impediments or excessive costs or delays. The training program Financing Infrastructure Connectivity for Economic Corridor Development held in Bangkok, Thailand, in August gave participants an overview of economic corridors and presented possible methods to develop and finance connectivity between highways, railways, and seaports.

At the workshop Tax and Corruption: An Asia-Pacific Perspective in Sydney, Australia, 42 participants, including 15 senior government officials, discussed how corruption leads to erosion of tax revenues; the impact of corruption on economic development, tax revenue, and tax compliance; and the relationship between corruption and tax evasion.

The training program Effective Management of State-Owned Enterprises took place in Almaty, Kazakhstan. As reforming state-owned enterprises is an urgent priority for all Asian countries, participating government officials were trained on the theoretical and empirical framework of and policy issues related to state-owned enterprise management. The policy brief Efficient Management of State-Owned Enterprises: Challenges and Opportunities discusses these challenges to and opportunities for improving the performance of SOEs in developing countries.

The second annual Forum on Governance and Institutions took place in Seoul in August to discuss different areas of governance and how governance reforms contribute to sustainable development. It was organized by ADBI and ADB.

Key Publications

Policy Briefs

The briefs present policy issues for a wide audience, including policy makers in DMCs. Five briefs were produced in 2017.

Fair Taxation in the Digital Economy. The spread of the digital economy creates challenges for international taxation as well as domestic tax revenue mobilization. As taxes are the main sources of revenue for the government to fund its various public services and projects, tax authorities must learn to adjust their capability to catch up with the fast change of digital economy activities.

Efficient Management of State-Owned Enterprises: Challenges and Opportunities. State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are a critical source of employment, public service provision, and socioeconomic development in most developing Asian countries. This brief discusses the challenges and opportunities to improving the performance of SOEs in developing countries.

Introducing the Tax-Kicker Bond: Budget-Neutral Financing of Private Infrastructure by Back-End Participation in Future Tax Revenue Growth. This brief shows practitioners how to attract private investors to infrastructure and proposes a new form of retail debt security instrument with a model term sheet.

Public Financing of Infrastructure in Asia: In Search of New Solutions. Lack of critical infrastructure in key economic sectors due to huge infrastructure financing gaps undermines the macroeconomic effects of infrastructure in developing countries. This policy brief examines fiscal constraints that inhibit public financing in emerging Asian countries and identifies new public financing sources.

Promoting Disaster Risk Financing in Asia and the Pacific. Economies in Asia and the Pacific are often exposed to disaster risks, which can cause huge fatalities and economic losses. This brief explores public and private options for overcoming those challenges and promoting disaster risk financing in Asia and the Pacific.