ESCAP Distinguished Persons Lecture Mr. Haruhiko Kuroda President of the Asian Development Bank "Regional Economic Cooperation and Connectivity in Asia-Pacific"
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held a Distinguished Person's Lecture on “Regional Economic Cooperation and Connectivity in Asia-Pacific” by Mr. Haruhiko Kuroda, President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 11 November 2010 from 10:30 to 12:00 hours at the United Nations Conference Centre, Conference Room 3, Bangkok. This event was a part of the ESCAP's Distinguished Person's Lecture Series which has featured talks delivered by Nobel Laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz (August 2009), Sir Richard Jolly and Dr. Louis Emmerij (November 2009) and Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen (July 2010).
Mr. Kuroda served as the President of the Asian Development Bank and as Chairperson of ADB's Board of Directors since 2004. Prior to joining the ADB, Mr. Kuroda was Special Advisor to the Cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and a professor at the Graduate School of Economics of Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. During a distinguished career with the Japanese Ministry of Finance that spanned nearly four decades, Mr. Kuroda helped steer the Asian nations through the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and under his leadership as Vice Minister of Finance, he helped establish the Chiang Mai Initiative, a network of currency swap agreements. He is also author of several books on monetary policy, exchange rates, international financial policy coordination, international taxation, and international negotiations.
Mr. Kuroda's lecture discussed the importance of investing in both physical or “hard” infrastructure, such as transport, energy and telecommuncations, as well as in “soft” infrastructure, such as appropriate policies and effective laws, regulations and institutions. Such investments are particularly important for the smaller and land-locked economies of the region, and they can contribute to narrowing the region's wide development gaps. Moreover, by facilitating a deeper degree of economic integration across the region, they will contribute to creating more business and employment opportunities, sustaining growth, raising standards of living and reducing poverty.