In 2016, the year of its 50th anniversary, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) scaled up its operations with loan and grant approvals reaching $17.5 billion, the highest ever. We look back at some of the milestones of 2016.


ADB kicked off its 50th anniversary celebrations in 2016. Over the last 5 decades, ADB has mobilized more than $250 billion in infrastructure, research, and knowledge sharing to expand opportunities and build prosperity across Asia and the Pacific, contributing significantly to the region’s historic global rise. Yet, many challenges remain, including widespread poverty, urbanization, an aging population, and climate change.
Source: [email protected]


In February, ADB President Takehiko Nakao approved the establishment of the Respectful Workplace Policy Review Working Group to reinforce respect in the workplace.
Source: ADB President's Activities


In March, ADB released the 2016 issue of the Asian Development Outlook (ADO). According to the report’s findings, growth is slowing across much of developing Asia as a result of the continued weak recovery in major industrial economies and softer growth prospects for the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This will combine to push growth in developing Asia for 2015 and 2016 below previous projections.

ADB forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5.7% in 2016 and 2017 for the region. In 2015, GDP growth was 5.9%.

ADO is ADB’s flagship annual economic publication.
Source: Asian Development Outlook 2016: Asia's Potential Growth 


In April, the shareholders of TAPI Pipeline Company Limited (TPCL) signed an Investment Agreement paving the way for delivery of a long-term supply of natural gas, supporting Afghanistan’s energy needs and helping it rebuild links with neighboring “Silk Road” countries.

The agreement provides an initial budget of over $200 million to fund the next phase of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural gas pipeline. This includes funding detailed engineering and route surveys, environmental and social safeguard studies, and procurement and financing activities, to enable a final investment decision, after which construction can begin. Construction is estimated to take up to 3 years.
Source: TAPI Pipeline to Help Turkmenistan Diversify Gas Exports, Support Growth


About 3,500 participants took part in discussions about how ADB can further scale up efforts to reduce poverty in Asia and the Pacific and help achieve a more sustainable future, during ADB's 49th Annual Meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, from 2 to 5 May.

A successful Asian Development Fund (ADF) replenishment was also completed in May, allowing ADB to substantially increase support for its poorest developing member countries in the 4-year period from 2017 to 2020. With all preparatory work completed, ADB is ready to fully implement the merger of ADF with its ordinary capital resources from 1 January 2017.
Source: Frankfurt 49th ADB Annual Meeting


The first project cofinanced with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was approved in 2016. The project funds the construction of a highway in Pakistan.

“This is a historic milestone for ADB and AIIB as we jointly aim to meet the pressing infrastructure needs in Asia and the Pacific region,” said ADB President Takehiko Nakao.
Source: ADB Approves First Cofinancing with AIIB for a Pakistan Road Project


A revision of ADB’s Anticorruption Policy was launched to include tax integrity due diligence and start support for capacity building of developing member countries in the areas of tax transparency and the exchange of information.
Source: ADB Updates Policy in Wake of Global Tax Developments


In August, Takehiko Nakao was reelected as President of ADB for a further 5 years beginning on 24 November 2016.

 “I will devote myself to continuing to lead ADB to an even more elevated standing as the primary development institution in the region that helps achieve inclusive and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific,” he said.
Source: Takehiko Nakao Reelected For Second Term as ADB President


In September, ADB updated its flagship annual economic publication, ADO 2016. According to the report's findings, developing Asia is expected to grow steadily despite external pressures and should meet earlier forecasts for 2016 and 2017, aided by resilience in the region’s two largest economies—the PRC and India.

The report also featured a special chapter on Asia's potential in the transition to low-carbon growth, which could see the region reaping outsized rewards as an essential player in the global effort to contain climate change.
Source: Asian Development Outlook 2016 Update: Meeting the Low-Carbon Growth Challenge


ADB entered an innovative guarantee agreement with Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), which will allow ADB to increase its financing by $500 million over the next 10 years. A landmark agreement was also signed with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to finance private sector infrastructure projects for $6 billion, starting with a geothermal power project in Indonesia and a wind and solar power project in India.
Source: Remarks at ADB's 50th Anniversary - Takehiko Nakao


Several innovative projects were approved in the year, including contingent disaster risk financing in the Cook Islands, the first privately financed solar project in Cambodia, and results-based lending for an elderly care project in the People’s Republic of China.
Source: Remarks at ADB's 50th Anniversary - Takehiko Nakao


Building on a strong performance in 2015, ADB’s investments in Asia and the Pacific in 2016 hit a new record high of $17.5 billion from $16.3 billion previously. ADB also processed 26 transactions in its private sector operations, amounting to $2.5 billion, while cofinancing of $13.0 billion was mobilized. Disbursements of ADB for 2016 are expected to reach about $12 billion, one of the highest totals ever.

In 2016, ADB’s Office of Public-Private Partnership entered into five new transaction advisory mandates to prepare and structure PPP projects.
Source: Remarks at ADB's 50th Anniversary - Takehiko Nakao