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Asian Development Bank

The Asian Development Bank, is a multilateral development finance institution whose capital stock is owned by 67 member countries.

It is engaged in promoting the economic and social progress of its developing member countries (DMCs) in the Asian and Pacific region.

Established on 19 December 1966

Headquarters – Ortigas Centre Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines

President – Takehiko Nakao

Over the last 4 decades, the Bank has maintained its role as a catalyst in promoting the development of the most populous and fastest-growing region in the world today.

In its operations, the Bank gives special attention to the needs of the smaller or less-developed countries and priority to regional, sub-regional, and national projects and programs, which will contribute to the harmonious economic growth of the region as a whole and promote regional cooperation.

History of Asian Development Bank

The idea was formally broached during a meeting of the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) First Ministerial Conference for Asian Economic Cooperation held in Manila on December 1963.

The Conference created an Ad-hoc Working Group of Experts to further study the idea of establishing a regional bank.

A Consultative Committee met from mid-1965 and drafted the Charter of the Asian Development Bank.

The Second Ministerial Conference on Asian Economic Cooperation, held in Manila in November 1965, adopted several resolutions all addressing the issue of establishing the ADB.

A Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the ADB was held from 2 to 4 December 1965.

A Committee on Preparatory Arrangements was created and an Agreement Establishing the ADB was adopted and opened for signature until 31 January 1966.

On 21st September 1966, the Agreement came into force after 16 governments ratified its charter.

Brief Overview of Main Activities

The Bank’s principal functions are

To make loans and equity investments for the economic and social advancement of DMCs;

To provide technical assistance for the preparation and execution of development projects and programs and advisory services;

To promote investment of public and private capital for development purposes;

To respond to requests for assistance in coordinating development policies and plans of DMCs.


From 31 members at its establishment in 1966, ADB has grown to encompass 67 members of which 48 are from within the Asia and Pacific region and 19 outside. Georgia is the 67th and newest member, having joined ADB effective 2 February 2007.

Where does ADB get its funding?

ADB raises funds through bond issues on the world’s capital markets. It also relies on its members’ contributions, retained earnings from lending operations, and the repayment of loans.

It also provides loans and grants from a number of Special Funds. The largest is the Asian Development Fund, which offers grants and loans at very low interest rates.

Japan holds the largest proportions of shares at 15.67%. The United States holds 15.56%, China holds 6.47%, India holds 6.36%, and Australia holds 5.81%.

How is ADB governed?

ADB’s highest policy-making body is the Board of Governors, which meets annually and comprises one representative from each member nation – 48 from the Asia-Pacific and 19 from outside the region.

The Governors elect 12 members of the Board of Directors. The ADB President, assisted by six Vice Presidents and a Managing Director General, manages the business of ADB.

Areas of Focus and Results

ADB operations are designed to support the three complementary agendas of inclusive economic growth, environmental sustainable growth, and regional integration. ADB uses its scarce resources in the areas of comparative strength.

Its key areas are as follows:

  1. Infrastructure, (water, energy, transport, urban development, information and communications technology)
  2. Environment,
  3. Regional cooperation and integration,
  4. Finance sector development,
  5. Education,
  6. Health,
  7. Agriculture and natural resources,
  8. Public sector management.



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