Guide to Archives of International Organizations. Printable version

 Mandate and Objectives

The Asian Development Bank, a multilateral development finance institution whose capital stock is owned by 67 member countries, is engaged in promoting the economic and social progress of its developing member countries (DMCs) in the Asian and Pacific region. During the past 40 years, the Bank has maintained its role as a catalyst in promoting the development of the most populous and fastest-growing region in the world today. In its operations, the Bank gives special attention to the needs of the smaller or less-developed countries and priority to regional, subregional, and national projects and programs, which will contribute to the harmonious economic growth of the region as a whole and promote regional cooperation.
Brief Overview of Main Activities

The Bank’s principal functions are (i) to make loans and equity investments for the economic and social advancement of DMCs; (ii) to provide technical assistance for the preparation and execution of development projects and programs and advisory services; (iii) to promote investment of public and private capital for development purposes; (iv) to respond to requests for assistance in coordinating development policies and plans of DMCs.
Geographical Scope

Asian and Pacific region
Working Languages: English

 Origins and Process of Creation

The idea of a development bank for Asia and the Pacific was first aired by then Sri Lankan Premier Solomon Bandaranaike in 1959. The idea was formally broached during a meeting of the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) First Ministerial Conference for Asian Economic Cooperation held in Manila on December 1963. The Conference created an Ad-hoc Working Group of Experts to further study the idea of establishing a regional bank. A Consultative Committee met from mid-1965 and drafted the Charter of the Asian Development Bank. The Second Ministerial Conference on Asian Economic Cooperation, held in Manila in November 1965, adopted several resolutions all addressing the issue of establishing the ADB. A Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the ADB was held from 2 to 4 December 1965. A Committee on Preparatory Arrangements was created and an Agreement Establishing the ADB was adopted and opened for signature until 31 January 1966. On 22 August 1966, the Agreement came into force after 16 governments ratified its charter.
Creation date and Birthplace:

The inaugural meeting of the Board of Governors was held in Tokyo from 24 to 26 November 1966 while the opening ceremonies and official commencement of operations were held in Manila, the elected headquarters site, on 19 December 1966.
Chronology of Highligts in the History of the Organization

 Governing Bodies

The Bank’s highest policy-making body is its Board of Governors, which meets annually. The direction of the Bank’s general operations is the responsibility of the Board of Directors—composed of 12 Directors (each with an Alternate) —eight representing regional countries and four representing non-regional countries. The Board of Governors conducts an election for the Board of Directors every two years. The President of the Bank is elected by the Board of Governors for a term of five years, and may be reelected. The President is Chairperson of the Board of Directors and, under the Board’s guidance, conducts the business of the Bank. The President is responsible for the organization, appointment and dismissal of officers and staff in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board of Directors. In this, the President is assisted by five Vice-Presidents who are appointed by the Board of Directors on the recommendation of the President. The Bank has 24 departments and offices at its headquarters, including a Private Sector Group and an Office of Cofinancing Operations.
Organizational Chart

Field Offices

ADB has 30 field offices, including resident and regional missions, a country office, a liaison office, and representative offices. Afghanistan Resident Mission, Armenia Resident Mission, Azerbaijan Resident Mission, Bangladesh Resident Mission, Cambodia Resident Mission, European Representative Office, Georgia Resident Mission, India Resident Mission, Indonesia Resident Mission, Japanese Representative Office, Kazakhstan Resident Mission, Kyrgyz Resident Mission, Lao Resident Mission, Mongolia Resident Mission, Nepal Resident Mission North American Representative Office, Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office, Pakistan Resident Mission, Papua New Guinea Resident Mission, Philippines Country Office, PRC Resident Mission, South Pacific Subregional Office, Special Office in Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka Resident Mission, Tajikistan Resident Mission, Thailand Resident Mission, Turkmenistan Resident Mission, Uzbekistan Resident Mission, Viet Nam Resident Mission.

The Bank started with 31 member countries and to date has 67 member countries. For a complete list of ADB members, capital stock, and voting power as of 31 December 2008, please follow the link: