The Asian Development Bank: A Progress Report


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When: Nov 4 2014 - 12:00pm until Nov 4 2014 - 1:30pm
Where: 1819 L Street, NW, Washington, DC, Sixth Floor Conference Room

The Asian Development Bank: A Progress Report

An Asia Pacific Seminar featuring:

Ambassador Robert “Skipp” Orr
U. S. Executive Director
Asian Development Bank

Ambassador Robert Orr gave candid remarks at the off-the-record event about the current status of the Asian Development Bank.

Since its founding in 1966, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has worked tirelessly to aid the two-thirds of the world’s poor who live in Asia. Under the Strategy 2020 framework, the ADB has focused on promoting “inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.” Following the midterm review of Strategy 2020, the ADB has made significant inroads in achieving these goals, including investing $2.35 billion in clean energy in 2013 and supporting private sector development in Asia.

However, the ADB is not the only entity determined to do such work in the region. On October 24th China, along with 21 other countries, launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). With this launch comes the concern that the AIIB will undermine the current efforts being undertaken by the ADB and the World Bank.

In this seminar, Ambassador Robert “Skipp” Orr discussed the governance of and decision making process at the ADB.  After giving a brief overview of how the ADB is run and funded, he turned his attention to the newly created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which was spearheaded by China. While advocating for close obesrvation of the AIIB to see what becomes of the initiative, Ambassador Orr was realistic about how the ADB and AIIB could co-exist in the current global order. He also emphasized that the United States would continue to make accountability, transparency, allocation of resources and support for countries in line with US interests its priorities, both inside and outside the ADB. 

Ambassador Orr also covered current issues confronting the ADB and initiatives being taken to mitigate those concerns. Maintaining funding in the current economic climate and receiving backing for initiatives from the US Congress, among others, remained the key concerns. But with new initiatives in the works, the future of the ADB looks promising. 

 For more images, please visit the album for this event on the East-West Center's Flickr page. 

Ambassador Robert Orr was confirmed by the Senate as United States Executive Director with rank of Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in September 2010. In July 2013 he became Dean of the Board of the ADB. From 2007-2010 he was Chairman of the Board of the Panasonic Foundation and concurrently Vice Chair of the National Association of Japan-America Societies, a member of the Board of Trustees of J.F. Obirin University and a member of the Board of the East-West Center Foundation. Ambassador Orr has also held numerous corporate positions, including President of Boeing Japan, the Vice President and Director of European Affairs for Motorola in Brussels and Vice President of Government Relations at Motorola in Japan. The Ambassador holds a B.A. in History, cum laude, from Florida Atlantic University, an M.A. in Government from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Tokyo University. He speaks German and Japanese fluently. He is a member of the Council of American Ambassadors.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Batiuk
Phone: 202-327-9755