Subregional Event

Financing the Clean Energy Transition in South Asia

South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Knowledge Event

Friday, 3 May 2024, 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm (Asia/Tbilisi)
Radisson Blu Iveria, Meeting Room 6

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This seminar discussed accelerating clean energy development in South Asia with a focus on innovative financing strategies, domestic efforts, and the need for a dedicated regional fund to advance the transition. Panelists shared success stories and ideas for regional cooperation toward a resilient energy future.

Welcome Remarks, Host, and Presenter

Thiam Hee NgRegional Head, Regional Cooperation and Integration Unit, South Asia Department, ADB 

Thiam Hee Ng is an economist who has done extensive research on regional cooperation, economic development, and finance. He currently leads the regional cooperation and integration program in South Asia at ADB. He received his PhD and MSc in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his BA (hons) in economics from the University of Cambridge.

Opening Remarks

Yingming YangVice President (South, Central and West Asia), ADB 

Yingming Yang joined ADB on 15 January 2024 as vice president (South, Central, and West Asia). He held various leadership positions in the Ministry of Finance, People’s Republic of China (PRC), including director general of the Department of International Economic Relations. He was PRC executive director in both ADB and the World Bank, as well as an authorized negotiator for establishing the New Development Bank. He was a board member of the Global Environment Facility, Global Infrastructure Facility, and Green Climate Fund. He also supported the establishment of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program, the PRC Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund, and the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility.

Panelists

Warren EvansSpecial Senior Advisor (Climate Change), ADB 

As ADB’s climate envoy in the Office of the President, Warren Evans focuses on scaling up and accelerating ADB investments in climate actions, reinforcing capacity development for climate change operations, and strengthening ADB’s external climate partnerships. He has over 40 years of sustainable development and climate change experience including as director-environment at World Bank, where he led the establishment of the Climate Investment Funds and numerous climate and biodiversity conservation initiatives (2003-2013); and in ADB as its first director for environment and social safeguards (1988-2003).

Abul Hassan Mahmood AliGovernor for Bangladesh, ADB; and Finance Minister, Bangladesh 

Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali has served as a parliamentarian and cabinet minister for Bangladesh, including as foreign minister from 2013 to 2019 and as minister of disaster management and relief from 2012 to 2013. Mr. Ali earned his BA with honors and an MA degree in economics from Dhaka University. His diplomatic career began when he joined the Pakistan Foreign Service (including Bangladesh) in 1966. Mr. Ali actively participated in the Bangladesh Liberation War, representing the provisional government in the US. He has held various diplomatic positions and contributed significantly to Bangladesh’s foreign relations.

Ahmed MunawwarAdvisor to the Minister of Finance, Maldives

Ahmed Munawar is a specialist in economics and finance, and has held ministerial and leadership positions in the Maldives, including minister of finance, state minister of external resources and debt division at the Ministry of Finance, national director in the Central Project Management Unit of the Ministry of Economic Development, senior manager (economist) of the monetary policy section of the Monetary Policy Research and Statistics Division, and member of the Senior Management Committee at the Maldives Monetary Authority. He received his bachelor of economics (honors) from the International Islamic University Malaysia, and master in economics from Macquarie University in Australia.

Shehan Semasinghe State Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies, Sri Lanka 

Shehan Semasinghe serves in the Public Finance Committee and Ministerial Consultative Committee on Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies. Previously, he held the positions of minister of trade and samurdhi development as well as state minister of samurdhi, household, economy, micro finance, self-employment, business development, and state minister of development banks and loans. He has been a member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka from Anuradhapura district since 2010. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Delhi University, he pursued his MBA at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka.

Closing Remarks

Takeo KonishiDirector General, South Asia Department, ADB 

Takeo Konishi is currently director general of ADB’s South Asia Department. He was country director for India (September 2020 to February 2024) and Uzbekistan (April 2014-June 2018), advisor for the Central and West Department, and has held other distinguished positions as part of a 24-year career in ADB, which began as a young professional in August 1999. Mr. Konishi holds a master’s degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor's degree in political science from Lynchburg College.

Moderator

Cindy MalviciniDeputy Director General, South Asia Department, ADB

Cindy Malvicini has 31 years of professional experience, including 19 years as ADB staff. Prior to her current role, she was senior advisor at the Central and West Asia Department and before that was country director of Uzbekistan, where she managed ADB’s office and operations, established a strong OneADB team, led a reform-focused program, developed a good nonsovereign pipeline, and built strong relationships with the government. Prior to joining ADB as staff, she worked as an ADB consultant for environment, NGO, and information disclosure policies. She also worked as business process reengineering specialist and extension associate at Cornell University. Ms. Malvicini, a national of the United States, holds master’s degrees in agriculture, soil, and water management from Cornell University; and in intercultural communications from Wheaton Graduate School.