MANILA, PHILIPPINES (6 November 2018) — More than 150 representatives from multilateral organizations, financial institutions, private sector, academia, and think tanks gathered today at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Manila for the opening of the first ADB Knowledge Forum. With the theme “Learn. Collaborate. Apply”, the event is part of ADB’s efforts to make better use of latest knowledge for improving development outcomes of developing member countries.

UNESCO Chair in Future Studies Mr. Sohail Inayatullah delivered a special address on the future of knowledge and took part in the opening plenary with ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao, former Central Bank of Pakistan Governor and UNESCAP Under-Secretary-General Ms. Shamshad Akhtar, and Academic Committee of China Development Research Foundation Member Ms. Li Shantong on “Knowledge Work in the Development Agenda: How Can International Financial Institutions Add Value?”. ADB Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development Mr. Bambang Susantono gave the opening remarks.

Mr. Nakao highlighted that ADB will foster strategic thought leadership for the region, through combining knowledge on new and emerging needs, new technologies, and local expertise. “In the face of rapid advancing technologies including mobile and digital, robotics and artificial inteligence, ADB’s continued relevance will increasingly depend on its role as a knowledge institution,” Mr. Nakao said.

Under the Strategy 2030, ADB will incorporate these technologies into its work on infrastructure, education, health, financial inclusion, and governance. “Clients turn to ADB for high standards in project design and implementation; the transfer of technology and good practices; and, importantly, the sharing of knowledge, skills, and expertise accumulated over more than 50 years of ADB working in partnership with countries,” Mr. Nakao said.

ADB is also increasingly shaping the regional development agenda, for example, in the theme chapter of its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2018, “How Technology Affects Jobs”, ADB provides policy recommendations for its developing member countries on how to leverage technology for an expanding job market.

This inaugural forum features two days of panel discussions and networking opportunities for experts and practitioners to discuss new insights into knowledge management and ways of thinking, for example, future thinking and foresight and nurturing a knowledge culture, in the context of emerging disruptive technologies and machine learning.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

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