ADBI 20th Annual Conference: Managing Private and Local Government Debt | Asian Development Bank

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

ADBI 20th Annual Conference: Managing Private and Local Government Debt

Event | 30 November - 1 December 2017 ADBI, Tokyo, Japan


Asian countries borrowed heavily to maintain growth during the global financial crisis of 2008–2009, and debt levels in several Asian countries are now higher than they were before the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. Some countries have household-debt-to-income levels greater than that of the United States before its financial crisis. Levels of corporate and local government debt have also risen sharply in a number of countries.

Meanwhile, sustainable and inclusive growth in emerging Asian economies requires continued high levels of public investment in infrastructure, education, health, and social services. These responsibilities, especially those related to infrastructure investment, need to be devolved increasingly to the regional government level. However, growth of revenue sources and local government financing has not necessarily kept pace, forcing them in some cases to rely on unorthodox funding measures such as shadow banking, or else cutting spending below needed levels. Even if adequate funding is available, safeguards are needed to ensure that debt levels are sustainable.

The aim of the conference is to analyze factors behind debt increases, their impacts, and policies to meet all the challenges mentioned above. Topics will include case studies from the PRC, Japan, India, Indonesia, Korea and Thailand to draw lessons and policy recommendations.


  • Identify factors leading to sharply rising debt in Asia;
  • Analyze actual and potential impacts of excessive debt on sustainable development;
  • Identify effective measures of managing the challenges of high debt levels;
  • Discuss reforms needed to meet such challenges;
  • Analyze and identify effective methods of strengthening the capacity of the private sector and local governments for managing debt while maintaining financial stability at both the national and local levels; and
  • Gather senior officials, well-known scholars, and experts on private and public debt to promote discussion and contribute to the theoretical and empirical literature and regional policy dialogue.


About 100 participants including:

  • Leading scholars and experts from well-known research institutions, think thanks, and universities in Asia and Europe, and senior officials from relevant international organizations;
  • Active and former senior policy makers and recognized private sector specialists;
  • International media; and
  • General public, including those from private organizations and post-graduate students


All papers prepared for this activity will be considered for publication in the ADBI working paper series. Authors of conference papers will be requested to deliver publishable papers by the end of January 2018. After reviewing the papers’ quality, ADBI will decide which papers will be published in its working paper series.



Time of event

09:00 - 18:00