AEIR 2022

ADB—Asian Think Tank Development Forum 2016

(New Delhi)

27–28 October 2016

About the forum

The 2016 Forum was held on 27-28 October 2016 in New Delhi, India. The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) and the Asian Development Bank organized the forum.


The ADB-Asian Think Tank Development Forum 2016 was attended by 100 participants from top think tanks in 24 Asian and Pacific countries. New participants from think tanks in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan attended for the first time. Representatives from governments also attended, i.e., Ministry of Finance of China, Ministry of Special Assignments of Sri Lanka and various ministries from India.


The forum has two publications. One is the fourth issue of the ADB-Asian Think Tanks Network eNewsletter, it features the key messages of the presentations and discussions covering regional economic outlook and sustainable urbanization for better policy advising by the member think tanks and another is the forum proceedings providing highlights of the discussions during the forum.


27 October 2016 — Day 1

  • Opening Ceremonies

    Chair: Dongxiang LI, ADB

    • 09:30 a.m.
      Registration, Long Champ Function Room
    • 10:30 a.m.—10:45 a.m.
      Emcees: Samreen Badr and Meghna Paul, National Institute of Public Finance Policy Welcome remarks
      • Rathin Roy, Executive Director, National Institute of Public Finance Policy (NIPFP)
      • Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER)
      • Naoyuki Yoshino, Dean, ADB Institute
    • 10:45 a.m.—11:00 a.m.
      Keynote address Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance, India
    • 11:00 a.m.—11:30 a.m.
      Photo session and coffee break
  • Session 1: Economic Outlook

    The global economic environment is challenging and downside risks remain, highlighted by slow growth in international trade and domestic demand, and potential volatility in financial markets. There is uncertainty from the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy actions and the unfolding of the UK separation from the EU. Asian countries need to respond to global economic challenges, using available policy tools and cross border policy coordination to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth. The purpose of this session is to analyze the impact of these challenges on the Asian region and countries, and explore effective policy mix to address the challenges.

    Chair: Xiaoming Huang, Wellington Network of Asia-Pacific Research and Policy, New Zealand

  • Session 2: Challenges of Sustainable Urbanization

    Urbanization is a mega trend. Half of humanity lives in cities today and the figure will increase to 60 percent by 2030. Ninety-five percent of urban expansion in the next decades will take place in the developing world, including developing Asia. Rapid urbanization exerts huge pressure on basic services and infrastructure in cities (such as education, public health, water supply, sewage, housing, energy, and transportation). As Asian countries quickly urbanize, the challenges need to be addressed in ways that allow the cities to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resources use and reducing pollution and poverty.

    Chair: Dushni Weerakoon, Deputy Director, Institute of Policy Studies

  • Session 3: Financing for Sustainable Urbanization

    Mobilizing funds to support sustainable urbanization remains a big challenge In Asia. This session will focus on the financing dimension of urbanization, such as legal and regulatory framework; different financing instruments/models (taxation, land income, transfer payment, equity investment, loans, guarantee, subsidy, municipal bonds, etc.) and their advantages and limits; the roles of governments (including central, provincial and local), MDBs, policy financiers, SOEs, and private sector; public-private-partnership (PPP); tariff issues, etc. Discussions will be policy—oriented and center on lessons, experiences, constraints and areas for improvement.

    Chair: M. Teresa Kho, Country Director, India Resident Mission, ADB

28 October 2016 — Day 2

  • Session 4: Dialogue between Think Tanks and Government Clients

    One of the important tasks of government-linked think tanks is to provide policy advice to governments anchored on researches and studies. To be effective, think tanks need to be aware of potential challenges and constraints to the countries, sound these out well-ahead before the threats occur, and propose implementable policy options.

    In this session, selected think tanks will describe the services they provide to their clients, discuss difficulties and constraints and how they are dealt with, as well as their future plans. Government agencies will give feedback on how the think tanks’ researches have influenced their thinking and strategies and how they hope the think tank’s services could be further improved.

    Chair: Rathin Roy, Executive Director, National Institute of Public Finance Policy, India

    • 9:00 a.m.—9;30 a.m.
    • 9:30 a.m.—10:20 a.m.
      Think Tanks’ Respective Mission and Services/Activities
      • Dushni Weerakoon, Deputy Director, Institute of Policy Studies
      • Qiangwu Zhou, Director General, International Economics and Finance Institute
      • Shaibal Gupta, Director, Asian Development Research Institute
      • G Ramesh, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Management
      • Aromar Revi, Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements
      • Samir Saran, Vice President, Observer Research Foundation
      • Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, ICRIER
    • 10:20 a.m.—11:20 a.m.
      Feedback from Government Agencies
      • Sarath Amunugama, Minister, Ministry of Special Assignments
      • Yu Hong, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Finance
    • 11:20 a.m.—11:40 a.m.
      Open discussion
    • 11:40 a.m.—12:00 p.m.
      Coffee break
  • Closing Ceremonies

    Chair: Dongxiang Li, Lead Regional Cooperation and Integration Specialist, ADB

    • 12:00 p.m.—12:30 p.m.
      Updates on ATTN and Next Steps
    • 12:30 p.m.
    • 2:00 p.m.—5:30 p.m.
      Informal Networking Activity (Visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan or India President House)