Shang-Jin Wei, New Chief Economist of the ADB

Shang-Jin Wei, New Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank

August 6th- The Center on Global Economic Governance Faculty Associate Shang-Jin Wei reported to his new post as the Chief Economist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).  Professor Wei holds the N.T. Wang Chair and Director of the Chazen Institute of International Business at Columbia University. 

According to ADB’s news statement Professor Wei, “will serve as ADB’s spokesperson on economic issues and head its Economics and Research Department.”  The organization addresses development issues in Asia and the Pacific.  They mainly offer “loans, grants, policy dialogue, technical assistance and equity investments” to aid developing countries.

“ADB is the region’s premier development partner and I am excited to lead its economics team,” Professor Wei said in an ADB statement. “I look forward to working with governments and academia across the region and beyond on research that will contribute to the continued growth and development of Asia and the Pacific.”

Born in the People’s Republic of China, Professor Wei earned his Bachelor’s degree in World Economy from Fudan University.  He later attained his Master’s degree in Finance and PhD in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

It is an exciting time for Professor Wei to join the ADB: Asia’s position in the global sphere is facing moments of prosperity coupled simultaneously with pressing economic issues.  In Japan, Abenomics, named after the economic policies of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has taken the world by surprise as the economy is expected to end deflation and return to healthy economic growth.  For developing countries, ADB provides loans in places such as Mongolia, where recently it helped, through a $40 million loan, their micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) to attain bank financing access from one of its biggest banks. 

Professor Wei’s research interests include international finance, trade, macroeconomics, and China.  Before coming to Columbia University, he served as Assistant Director and Chief of the Trade and Investment Division at the International Monetary Fund. He was also the IMF’s Chief of Mission to Myanmar (Burma) in 2004.