The ADB–Asian Think Tank Development Forum is the annual gathering of the network members to

  • promote knowledge sharing on development practices and policy lessons;
  • foster collaboration among network members;
  • stimulate strong interest and commitment among network members in creating a self-sustaining knowledge network; and
  • explore new, trending, and forecasted topics relevant to sustainable economic development.

The knowledge sharing among the think tanks, which covers North–South or South–South, is particularly useful since many of them face similar challenges and circumstances.

The events are sponsored by the Asian Development Bank under its regional technical assistance, Provision of Knowledge Products and Services to Developing Member Countries through Systematic Knowledge Sharing, funded by the Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund of the People’s Republic of China.


Senior level officials/staff of Asian think tanks closely associated with central ministries of finance, economy, and planning are the targeted participants of the forum as they play a critical role in providing policy advice and sharing knowledge. Many of them are involved in supporting their governments in preparing medium- and long-term development plans, addressing emerging policy issues, and in cross-country knowledge sharing.

1st ADB–Asian Think Tank Development Forum
30-31 October 2013
Beijing, People’s Republic of China

This forum carried the theme “Innovation and Inclusion for a Prosperous Asia” and saw the launch of the ADB–Asian Think Tanks Network. It gathered 130 participants, representing 47 think tanks from 26 Asian countries. The discussion covered the latest global and regional policy developments and country-specific experiences and policy issues on innovation and inclusion.

2nd ADB–Asian Think Tank Development Forum
20-21 November 2014
Seoul, Korea

“Promoting Innovation and Inclusion for a Prosperous Asia” was the theme of the ADB-Asian Think Tank Development Forum, held 20–21 November 2014 at the Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas, Republic of Korea. The forum was co-hosted by Korea Development Institute. The discussions on innovation and inclusion covered both global and regional issues and policy developments, as well as country-specific experiences and policies. A mix of plenary and parallel sessions provided ample time for discussion and knowledge-sharing among participants. The opening plenary session was followed by several presentations/discussions, before delving into the forum’s four sub-themes: (i) opportunities and challenges of globalization and regional integration in Asia; (ii) innovation and escaping the middle income trap; (iii) inclusive growth and social protection; and (iv) addressing poverty and inequality. It concluded with an assessment of progress made thus far and ways to sustain the ADB-Asian Think Tanks Network. For more informal networking, the group visited several cultural attractions the afternoon of the second day.

3rd ADB–Asian Think Tank Development Forum
8-9 September 2015
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Exploring the theme of “Advancing Innovation and Inclusion for a Prosperous Asia,” the Asian Development Bank (ADB) conducted the ADB–Asian Think Tank Development Forum 2015 in partnership with the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER). Held 8-9 September 2015 at the Hotel Pullman Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the forum had 72 participants representing think tanks from 26 countries in Asia and the Pacific, along with representatives from Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Tenaga Nasional Berhad. Malaysia’s Datuk Sundaran Annamalai, deputy secretary-general (Policy), Ministry of Finance, read the keynote message of Secretary-General Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.

4th ADB–Asian Think Tank Development Forum
27-28 October 2016
New Delhi, India

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.