The Asian Development Bank held a commemorative annual meeting in Yokohama from May 4 to 7 celebrating its 50th year. Having served in the ADB in the early years after its founding in 1966, I am delighted to see the bank's sound growth in helping to develop the Asia-Pacific region. Asia, once a poorer region, has become an important center of the world economy.

Looking back, the ABD was founded by the strenuous efforts of its first president, Takeshi Watanabe, and supported by contributions from Japan, which has been its major funding source together with the United States. The number of member countries has increased from the original 31 to the present 67. The bank's total lending and grants reached $17.47 billion in 2016.

The ADB, however, should not be complacent, as there are a number of important issues to address.