Asian Development Bank

ADB Through the Decades: ADB’s First Decade (1966–1976)

When the Asian Development Bank (ADB) was established in 1966, the Asia and Pacific region was undergoing a process of deep change. Several countries gained independence and a sense of regional identity was emerging. A more organized drive toward modernization started in several countries but the region was still defined by poverty. Feeding people remained a primary concern even while the Green Revolution was under way. The first oil crisis in 1973 led to a worldwide recession and tested many Asian economies. This volume explains how the idea of a regional development bank for Asia emerged and gained support. During its formative years, ADB dealt with a myriad of administrative, organizational, and funding issues in order to establish itself as a sound and credible institution. ADB’s first President, Takeshi Watanabe, envisioned ADB's role as Asia's “family doctor.” ADB took a pragmatic approach and conducted studies and surveys to acquire a fuller understanding of the region before lending gained momentum in the second half of the decade, focused on energy, transport, agriculture, and finance.
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