India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will join hands to commemorate 25 years of their partnership at a forum that will discuss Asia™s remarkable economic growth and the challenges it still has to overcome to realize its full potential.
Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee and ADB President Mr. Haruhiko Kuroda will address the Eminent Persons™ Forum that will be held on 17th October and will form the highlight of the India-ADB commemorative celebration. The finance ministers of the Philippines and Malaysia will also participate in a panel session on the theme of Realizing the Asian Century.
The day-long commemorative activities jointly organized by the Government of India and ADB will also include launch of two publications that showcase development projects initiated by both partners.
According to Shri Venu Rajamony, Joint Secretary , Department of Economic Affairs, who oversees the work of ADB and other multilateral development agencies in India, this event is an effort to bring to Delhi some of the best minds in Asia and to discuss the future of Asia. He said that having successfully ignited growth, Asia faces challenges in sustaining growth and ensuring that it is inclusive. Unless Asia works out solutions to these challenges, and embeds them in larger regional and global contexts, the Asian Century may prove to be elusive, he said.
The forum will include panel discussions that will bring together eminent economists and development experts from India and abroad to debate the specifics of both national agendas, as well as regional and global agendas to ensure that Asia™s growth is sustained and inclusive.
Mr. Hun Kim, Country Director of ADB™s India Resident Mission said that the twin challenges of sustaining growth and making sure it is inclusive are actually quite intimately related. Mr. Kim added that expanding the ranks of the middle class, while ensuring at the same time that economies do not get stuck in a ˜middle income trap™, are key challenges for developing Asia. He said that there are useful lessons from the region we can learn and which we hope to hear from the speakers at the forum.
The panels will feature eminent Indian economists Dr. Shankar Acharya (Honorary Professor, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations), Dr. Kaushik Basu (Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance), and Professor Arvind Panagariya (Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy, Columbia University).
Bringing perspectives from East Asia — one of the most dynamic economic regions of the world for several decades now — will be ADB Chief Economist Dr. Changyong Rhee, Ambassador Kyung Wook Hur (Korea`s Ambassador to the OECD), Mr. Hidetoshi Nishimura (Executive Director, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia) and Dr. Than Nyun (Former Chairman of the Myanmar Public Service Commission).
ADB started its lending operations in India in 1986 and has so far advanced loans worth $24 billion for over 150 projects. It currently operates in more than 20 states in India. Based in Manila, ADB, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members — 48 from the region. In 2010, ADB approvals, including, co-financing, total $17.51 billion. In addition, ADB™s ongoing Trade Finance Program supported $2.8 billion in trade.