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Asian Development Bank (ADB) Economic Outlook for 2021 and Beyond

Event Date: 18 February 2021
Event Time: 08:00 AM - 09:30 AM
Location: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_YgI6EWJKQLe8KQm45fCwdQ
RSVP by: 18 February 2021

in partnership with




Asian Development Bank (ADB) Economic Outlook for 2021 and Beyond 


Thursday, February 18, 2021

8.00am – 9.30am (EST)


Chatham House Rules; by registration only

Register in advance for this webinar:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

[Note: Participants joining from Afghanistan have the option of attending this meeting through the World Trade Center Kabul. Please email Abdul Qadir Bahman, WTC Kabul CEO, to discuss the logistics.]

ADB Panelists:

Dr. Yasuyuki Sawada, Chief Economist

Ms. Lesley Bearman Lahm, Representative, North American Representative Office

Mr. Narendra Singru, Country Director for Afghanistan

Mr. Ko Sakamoto, Principal Transport Specialist


Please join Dr. Yasuyuki Sawada and a team of ADB experts to review their assessment of the economic outlook for 2021 and beyond and what actions each government in Asia should continue to take to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on their economies. What role do U.S. companies play to help stabilize the global economy? Most importantly, has the pandemic led to a radically new form of business and economic relations?  


Dr. Yasuyuki Sawada, Chief Economist, ADB

Yasuyuki Sawada is a Japanese national. He holds a Doctorate degree in Economics and a Master's degree in International Development Policy from Stanford University, USA; a Master's degree in International Relations from the University of Tokyo, Japan; a Master's degree in Economics from Osaka University, Japan; and a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Keio University, Japan.

Mr. Sawada is a Professor in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Tokyo, Japan. Earlier, he was an Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo; an Adjunct Professor of Economics at the Korea University; a Research Associate at the Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University; and a Visiting Researcher at the Asian Development Bank Institute. Previously, he did part-time research work in a variety of institutions, such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Research Institute; the World Bank; Economic Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA); Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS); Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE); International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines; International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Sri Lanka; Research Institute of Economy, Trade, and Industry (RIETI) in Japan; and Japan Society of Promotion of Science (JSPS), where he led a number of large-scale development policy evaluation projects in Asia and other developing countries.

Mr. Sawada's research fields are macro- and micro-development economics, microeconometrics, economics of disasters, and field surveys and experiments. He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed research articles on diversified topics pertaining to Asia and other developing countries ranging from macro development issues, such as long-term economic growth and structural change, sovereign debt sustainability, foreign aid, trade, ageing and social security, and natural and man-made disasters to micro issues of poverty, education, infrastructure, microenterprises, microfinance, health, and disabilities. He conducted his research using a variety of methods, such as calibration, microeconometrics, and field experiments, in collaboration with governments, international institutions, NGOs, and private firms.

Mr. Sawada is a highly qualified global macro- and micro-economist with deep hands-on field experience. He has expertise on how to measure and maximize development impacts of projects, and has led multiple policy-oriented research projects that cut across a wide range of sectors and themes. His publications are extensive and well acclaimed. His engagement in policy-oriented research projects under different institutions will contribute well to the role, especially in the design and implementation of ERCD’s vision to support ADB’s development goals. 


Ms. Lesley Bearman Lahm, Representative, North American Representative Office, ADB

Lesley Bearman Lahm is Representative of the North American Representative Office of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 

In this role, Lesley mobilizes financing and support for ADB’s developing member countries; shares development knowledge and experience; establishes and deepens partnerships with public, private, and nonprofit organizations in North America; and raises public awareness of ADB with key stakeholders in Canada and the United States.  

Lesley previously led strategy and policy development coordination for key strategic and institutional considerations relating to non-sovereign operations, public-private partnerships, and SOE engagement. She also led ADB’s participation in G20 activities and chaired the Blended Finance Committee.

Lesley joined ADB in 2002 and first served in the Office of the General Counsel as Senior Counsel, supporting sovereign and non-sovereign operations. She then moved to the Office of the Vice President as Senior Advisor, where she advised on a range of strategic, policy, operational, and administrative issues. From 20092011, she was responsible for financial sector operations as Principal Financial Sector Specialist in ADB’s India Resident Mission. 

While on special leave from 2011–2014, Lesley practiced corporate law in Bucharest, Romania, advising on renewable energy projects in Eastern Europe. Prior to joining ADB, Lesley was a senior associate at Shearman & Sterling in Hong Kong, where she specialized in project and structured finance, restructurings, and general corporate practice. 

Lesley earned a JD cum laude in 1993 from Tulane University, School of Law, and a BA in East Asian Studies magna cum laude in 1988 from Columbia University, Barnard College in New York. ​


Mr. Narendra Singru, Country Director for Afghanistan, ADB

Mr. Singru is ADB’s Country Director for Afghanistan, managing ADB’s partnership with the government and relationship with stakeholders. He oversees a portfolio of more than .5 billion, focused on agriculture and natural resources, energy, and transport; and manages a Resident Mission with over sixty Afghan and international staff.

Mr. Singru is a national of India. He holds two Master’s degrees in Development Administration and Planning from University College London, United Kingdom; Business Administration from University of Pune, India; and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Maharaja Sayajirao University, India.

He has 24 years of work experience including 14 years in ADB. He joined ADB in August 2005 as an Evaluation Specialist. He was promoted to Senior Evaluation Specialist in January 2009. He transferred to Central and West Asia Department Transport and Communications Division (CWTC) as a Senior Transport Specialist in June 2011 and was promoted to Principal Transport Specialist in December 2013. He was appointed Head of Project Administration Unit in July 2015. Prior to joining ADB, he worked as a Senior Business Consultant at Halcrow Group Limited, United Kingdom.

Mr. Singru has deep and broad technical knowledge and experience in project processing and administration, portfolio management, sector policy dialogue, country programming and evaluation in transport, energy and water supply and sanitation in several Developing Member Countries, including Afghanistan.


Mr. Ko Sakamoto, Principal Transport Specialist, ADB

Ko Sakamoto is an economist with a background in the fields of transport, environment and sustainable development. He holds a MA in Transport Economics from the University of Leeds, and a BA in Liberal Arts with concentration in Politics and Economics from the International Christian University. He has been with the Asian Development Bank since 2011. He currently manages a team in charge of investment and technical assistance projects in the transport sector, covering Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.