By M Naeem Chaudhry
YOKOHAMA (Japan) May 4, (APP): Finance MinisterSenator Muhammad Ishaq Dar Thursday said that remarkable work was done by documenting 50 years history of the Asian Development Bank and highlighting its stentorian role in the economic development and growth of Asia-Pacific region.
Expressing his views as panelist at the launching ceremony of the ADB history book, ‘Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific: 50 Years of the Asian Development Bank,’ Ishaq Dar along with ADB President Takehiko Nakao and other panelists said Pakistan had a great partnership experience with the bank.
The ADB, he observed was the nearest place and any regional country could approach it in the hour of need. The bank played an important role in the Asian economies’ miracles, he added.
The bank proved to be a good partner and it made the financing available to the member countries in support of their struggle for economic development, the minister noted.
He was of the firm view that Asian Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank were not rivals rather complementary for each other, adding regional connectivity, cooperation and coordination was much-needed for mutual benefits.
Commenting on the problems facing regional economies, the minister said there could not be a single generic solution for all the countries, since their problems were of different
nature thus needed to be addressed through diverse means.
During the discussions, the minister stated that Japan extended enormous support and good leadership to the Asian Development Bank, which proved successful on the basis of its performance.
Earlier, the book released at ADB’s 50th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors, unveiled details about ADB’s activities from its origin in 1966, decade by decade to the present day.
It also illustrates the genesis of ADB regarding different proposals from across Asia and the Pacific, preparatory meetings in Bangkok, Manila and other cities, and collaboration of people within and outside the region to discuss the charter, membership, and location of the
The book, authored by Peter McCawley, an academic from the Australian National University, a former Executive Director of ADB and former Dean of the ADB Institute was supported by the intensive work of a team of ADB staff, and benefitted from comments and inputs of numerous people, including former ADB personnel.
The book aims to review how ADB over 50 years has responded to Asia’s challenges given its unique regional perspective. It provides an objective and comprehensive account of ADB’s 50 years through three historical narratives Asia’s economic development, the evolution of the
international development agenda, and the story of ADB itself.
ADB President Takehiko Nakao said “The unique character of this book is to discuss Asia’s economic history, from the perspective of development and based on the rich experience of ADB’s interaction with countries.”
In his foreword, Takehiko Nakao wrote that ADB was a child of the genuine aspiration by people across the region, and that the establishment of ADB represented a spirit of regional cooperation.
Looking back at ADB’s achievements in supporting its developing member countries, he summarized them into three broad functions: (i) combining finance (loans and grants) with knowledge in infrastructure and social sector projects;
promoting good policies through dialogue, capacity building,
and policy-based lending; and (iii) catalyzing regional
cooperation and friendship.