The ADB in Indonesia: 50 years of development

Indonesia Project

Event details

Indonesia Study Group

Date & time

Wednesday 19 July 2017


McDonald Room, Menzies Library, Menzies Building 2, ANU


Peter McCawley, Asian Development Bank.


Indonesia Project

Indonesia’s decision in 1966 to become a founding member of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was one of a series of decisions in Jakarta that year which marked a sharp change in Indonesia’s international economic policies. For the next three decades, Indonesia was the largest country borrower from ADB. The Bank, along with other international members of the Inter-Governmental Group on Indonesia (IGGI), and later the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI), supported a large international development program in Indonesia. Much of this program focused on activities in agriculture and infrastructure. And then, in 1997, when the Asian financial crisis led to a sharp recession in Indonesia, ADB joined with other international agencies to provide emergency assistance. After the Asian tsunami in December 2004, ADB joined with many other agencies to mount rehabilitation programs in Aceh.

The story of the Bank’s 50-year partnership with Indonesia reflects ADB’s broader approach across Asia. This approach has emphasised three main priorities: banking and financial programs which underpin higher investment; the promotion of development through encouraging good policies; and support for stronger regionalism. Looking ahead, during the next few decades these three priorities are likely to remain key issues for policymakers, both in Indonesia and across the Asian region.

Peter McCawley is a Visiting Fellow in the Indonesia Project, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics, and a former Head of the Indonesia Project (1981-86). He is the principal writer of the recently published history of the Asian Development Bank, Banking on the Future of Asia and the Pacific: 50 Years of the Asian Development Bank.

The book may be downloaded (no charge) here:

Press releases in English and Bahasa Indonesia providing some details of the book are available here:

Updated:  24 March 2017/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team