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.

  1. 27 October 2016 — Day 1

    Opening Ceremonies

    Time Speaker / Affiliation
    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
    1. Rathin Roy, Executive Director, National Institute of Public Finance Policy (NIPFP)
    2. Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER)
    3. 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
  1. 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

    Time Speaker / Affiliation
    11:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Regional Economic Outlook
    Juzhong Zhuang, Deputy Chief Economist and Deputy Director General, ADB
    Financial Integration and External Spillovers
    Peter Rosenkranz, Economist, ADB
    12:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m. Selected countries’ responses to challenges
    1. N R Bhanumurthy, Professor, NIPFP
    2. China’s economic development under the New Normal
      Zhang Qi, Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director General, Development Research Centre
    3. Azerbaijan: New Economic Paradigm
      Vusal Gasimli, Executive Director, Center for Analysis and Communication for Economic Reforms, Azerbaijan
    12:30 p.m.–1:00 p.m. Discussants
    1. Ngu Wah Win, Policy Coordinator Analyst, Centre for Economic and Social Development
    2. Some Remarks on Asian Economic Outlook and Challenges Ahead and Financial Integration and External Spillovers
      Ram Chandra Dhakal, Executive Director, Center for Economic Development and Administration
    3. Ponciano Intal, Jr., Senior Economist, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia
    1:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m. Open Discussion
    1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Lunch
  1. 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

    Time Speaker / Affiliation
    3:00 p.m.–3:20 p.m. Challenges for Sustainable Urban Development in Asia
    Michael Lindfield, Director, Urban Infrastructure Services, Ltd.
    3:20 p.m.–3:30 p.m. Country presentation
    1. Challenges of Sustainable Urbanization: The Case of Thailand
      Nonarit Bisonyabut, Research Fellow, Thailand Development Research Institute
    2. The State of Urbanization in Pakistan
      Shujaat Farooq, Assistant Professor, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics
    3:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Discussant
    1. Daniiar Bakchiev, Deputy Director, National Institute of Strategic Studies
    2. Urbanisation in Asia
      Tran Kim Chung, Vice President, Central Institute for Economic Management
    3. Enkhbaigali Byambasuren, President, Analysis Group
    4:10 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Open discussion
    4:30 p.m.–4:50 p.m. Coffee break
  1. 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

    Time Speaker / Affiliation
    4:50 p.m.–5:10 p.m. Financing for Sustainable Urbanization
    Rana Hasan, Director, ADB
    5:10 p.m.–5:40 p.m. Selected countries’ financing schemes
    1. Financing for Sustainable Innovation PFI_PPP in Japan
      Keiichiro Oda, Senior Fellow, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry
    2. Financing Innovation as Key to Urban Development in China
      Qiu Aijun, Deputy Director, China Center for Urban Development
    3. Financing sustainable Urbanization: Case of Korea
      Jeong-Ho Kim, Professor, Korea Development Institute School of Public Policy and Management
    5:40 p.m.–6:10 p.m. Discussants
    1. Khan Ahmed Sayeed Murshid,Director General, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies
    2. Carunia Mulya Hamid Firdausy, Senior Fellow, National Center for Economic Research
    3. Saikat Sinha Roy, Professor, Jadavpur University
    6:10 p.m.–7:30 p.m. Open discussion
    7:30 p.m. Dinner (hosted by NIPFP), Annex Court, India International Centre
  1. 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

    Time Speaker / Affiliation
    9:00 a.m.–9;30 a.m. Registration
    9:30 a.m.–10:20 a.m. Think Tanks’ Respective Mission and Services/Activities
    1. Dushni Weerakoon, Deputy Director, Institute of Policy Studies
    2. Qiangwu Zhou, Director General, International Economics and Finance Institute
    3. Shaibal Gupta, Director, Asian Development Research Institute
    4. G Ramesh, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Management
    5. Aromar Revi, Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements
    6. Samir Saran, Vice President, Observer Research Foundation
    7. Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, ICRIER
    10:20 a.m.–11:20 a.m. Feedback from Government Agencies
    1. Sarath Amunugama, Minister, Ministry of Special Assignments
    2. 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
  1. Closing Ceremonies

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

    Time Speaker / Affiliation
    12:00 p.m.–12:30 p.m. Updates on ATTN and Next Steps
    12:30 p.m. Lunch
    2:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. Informal Networking Activity (Visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan or India President House)