Growth prospects for Asia and the Pacific: opportunities, risks and the Asian Development Bank’s role

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics

Event details

HW Arndt lecture series

Date & time

Tuesday 10 September 2019


Molonglo Theatre, Level 2, JG Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Takehiko Nakao, ADB

The presentation will look at economic growth in Asia and the Pacific and the increasing prominence of this region’s contribution to world growth. Evidence to date is that the sentiment about this being the ‘Asian Century’ rings true, yet there are risks as well. The most immediate risk is increasing trade tensions. There are also structural factors that are moderating growth prospects. In the Pacific, natural disasters cause human devastation, and small Pacific economies struggle to recover economically and fiscally. With the Pacific at the front line of climate change, the intensity and frequency of disasters will get worse – and so will the consequences. Despite these headwinds, there are opportunities as well. Tourism is one such bright spot: the Pacific has many natural wonders which many find appealing. To capture the benefits of tourism, policy settings and investments in infrastructure and people are needed.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is well placed to respond to an increasingly dynamic, diverse and important region. ADB’s focus will still be on alleviating poverty, partnering with countries to help them reach their goals. ADB’s recently approved ‘Strategy 2030’ maps out how ADB can respond to the region’s changing needs and operational priorities. Scaling up ADB’s efforts in combating climate change and gender equality are at the core of future work.

Attendees are requested to arrive early for a 10.30am start.

A light lunch reception will be held following the lecture (11.50am–12.30pm).


Mr Takehiko Nakao, President, Asian Development Bank


Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor, The ANU

Takehiko Nakao is the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Chairperson of ADB’s Board of Directors. He was elected President by ADB’s Board of Governors and assumed office in April 2013. Before joining ADB, Mr. Nakao was the Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs at the Ministry of Finance of Japan.

In a career spanning more than three decades, Mr. Nakao has gained extensive experience in international finance and development. He has held senior positions in the Ministry of Finance in Japan, which he joined in 1978. This includes as Director-General of the International Bureau, where he fostered close ties with leading figures in the Asia-Pacific region and G20 nations. He was assigned as Minister at the Embassy of Japan in Washington D.C., between 2005 and 2007, and from 1994 to 1997 served as economist and advisor at the International Monetary Fund. He has published books and numerous papers on financial and economic issues, and in 2010 and 2011 was a Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo.

Mr. Nakao holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Tokyo and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley.

Updated:  14 August 2022/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team