San Francisco, November 30, 2012 — Last night, David D. Arnold, President of The Asia Foundation, appeared in conversation with Rajat M. Nag, Managing Director General of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at the World Affairs Council of Northern California. The two discussed, “Asia’s Challenge: Ensuring Sustainable Growth,” and covered Asia’s rapid growth, the widening gap between rich and poor, and challenges to the region’s stability. At the ADB, Mr. Nag’s particular interest is in working to bridge the gap between the region’s thriving economies and the millions of poor people being left behind. Earlier in the day, Mr. Nag sat down with the Foundation’s international staff of development practitioners to discuss critical short-term and long-term challenges facing Asia.
Much has been made of the Asian success story. The region is a key driver of the global economy, and the lives of millions of its people have been transformed in ways unimaginable decades ago. But Asia’s growth story masks daunting challenges. The region’s economic and industrial advancement is placing increased pressure on the region’s environment and natural resource endowments.
At the World Affairs Council, Mr. Nag spoke on why and how Asia should boldly confront the twin challenges of inclusive and green growth so that the region will continue to benefit from its successful growth story. In his remarks, he shared that a “grow now, clean up later” will only wreak havoc on the environment and put lives and livelihoods at serious risk. Next week’s edition of our blog, In Asia, will feature highlights from this conversation.
The Asia Foundation strives to improve lives, expand opportunities, and help societies flourish across a dynamic and developing Asia. For this critical work, the international development organization partners with civil society, organizations like the Asian Development Bank, and local governments – all important stakeholders who will ultimately shape Asia’s future. The Asia Foundation and the ADB have collaborated on country-level and regional projects in the areas of governance, economic development, anti-corruption, and judicial and legal reform.
A video of the evening’s conversation is available here.