Ethical Performance
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ADB urged to adopt sustainable approach

May 2007

A panel of experts has advised the Asian Development Bank to switch its emphasis from supporting economic growth to supporting environmentally sustainable growth.

In a new paper, the panel says the ADB should also look to move away from fighting extreme poverty on a country-by-country basis in Asia and switch to a regional focus.

It says the bank should encourage infrastructure development mainly through public-private partnerships and support the growth of regional financial markets. And it recommends that in its focus on energy and environmental activities it should concentrate mainly on global issues such as climate change.

The panel said it believed the bank should become more ‘nimble, flexible and decentralized’, by using technical staff in Asia’s main business and academic centres.

Haruhiko Kuroda, the bank’s president, gave a positive response to the suggestions from the panel, which was chaired by Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary-general of the United Nations conference on trade and development. The other members were: Isher Ahluwalia, chairperson of the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations; Nobuyuki Idei, Sony’s chief corporate adviser; Caio Koch-Weser, vice-chairman of Deutsche Bank; Justin Yifu Lin, professor and director of the China Center for Economic Research at Peking University; and Lawrence Summers, a professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

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