NEW DELHI, INDIA (27 October 2017) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) country office in India held the national launch of the ADB History Book, Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific: 50 Years of the Asian Development Bank, at Bengaluru. The book launch was part of ADB’s ongoing 50th year celebrations.
The book traces the history of ADB since its establishment in 1966. It provides insights on regional economic development, the evolution of the international development agenda, and the role of ADB in the transformation of Asia and the Pacific over the past 50 years.
“India was among the founding members of ADB established in 1966, and played an important role in the formative years of ADB,” said Diwesh Sharan, Deputy Director General of ADB’s South Asia Department. “This event is an acknowledgment of how significant India is to ADB’s overall operations and also a humble tribute to the ever-strengthening India-ADB development partnership.”
Subhash Chandra Khuntia, Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka, was the guest of honor at the launch ceremony last night that was also attended by Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs in the Government of India’s Ministry of Finance, and Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director of ADB’s India Resident Mission. About 150 officials from the executing and implementing agencies of ADB-financed projects across the country along with ADB staff attended the event.
The book author, Peter McCawley, an academic from the Australian National University, a former Executive Director of ADB and former Dean of the ADB Institute, gave a presentation on the book. The book highlights ADB’s response to Asia’s challenges given its unique regional perspective. It contains three historical narratives—Asia’s economic development, the evolution of the international development agenda, and the story of ADB itself.
The book details how, after ADB was established in 1966, C.S. Krishna Moorthi was appointed as the first Vice-President, playing a key role in shaping the institution’s vision for 12 years. ADB’s lending operations to India began in 1986. That same year, the first loan to India—for the Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation—supported onlending to private sector industrial firms. Currently, India is the largest borrower of ADB funds with its current portfolio of 84 ongoing projects worth about $13.5 billion.
ADB recently approved a new country partnership for India (2018-2022) to support the government’s goal of faster, inclusive, and sustainable growth accompanied by rapid economic transformation and job creation. The strategy envisages expanding annual lending to India from the current $3 billion up to $4 billion.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.