The idea of formation of Asian Development Bank (ADB) was conceived in 1960s and its motto is fighting poverty in Asia and the Pacific. A resolution was passed in 1963 that set the vision on the way to becoming reality.
ADB was opened on 19 December 1966 with 31 members and Takeshi Watanabe from Japan was ADB’s first President. The headquarters of ADB is in Mandaluyong, Manila, Philippines. ADB’s all presidents are from Japan.
President: Recently in September 2019, the president of ADB Takehiko Nakao resigned from his position. Currently the president post lies vacant and is soon to be filled in accordance with an open, transparent and merit-based procedure of the bank’s norms.
ADB has now 67 members of which 48 are from the Asia and Pacific region. India joined ADB in 1966. ADB assists its members, and partners, by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development.
The way ADB provided its assistance to the countries in need:
- During the 1960s, ADB focused much of its assistance on food production and rural development.
- When the world suffered its first oil price shock, ADB increased its support for energy projects.
- In 1974, ADB provided low-interest loans to ADB’s poorest members.
- In the wake of the second oil crisis, ADB continued its support to infrastructure development.
- In 1982, ADB opened its first field office—in Bangladesh—to bring operations closer to the people in need.
- In 1997 financial crisis in Asia, ADB provided support financial sectors and create social safety nets for the poor.
- In 2003, when the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic hit the region, ADB provided support at national and regional levels to help the countries.
- ADB also helped India, Indonesia, Maldives, and Sri Lanka when these were hit by the December 2004 Asian tsunami by providing more than $850 million for recovery.
2019 news on ADB:
- On October 2019, The ADB and the Government of India (GoI) signed Tranche 2 loan agreement worth $190 million to upgrade 754 kilometers of Rajasthan state highways and major district roads (MDRs) to two-lane or intermediate-lane standards.
- India and ADB signed $200-million loan agreement for upgrading rural roads in 34 districts of Maharashtra in September 2019.
- In May 2019, ADB agreed to provide $750 million to India, to electrify railway tracks in India under Railways Track Electrification Project. As per agreement ADB will provide long-term financing to Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC).
- In March 2019, the Government and ADB signed $926 Million loan agreement to operationalise two lines for the Mumbai Metro Rail System. This is the single largest Infrastructure Project Loan in ADB history approved by the Asian Development Board.