Bridging Investment Gaps Through Fintech

Conference dates

10 Sep 2020 - 11 Sep 2020


NUS Business School, Singapore


The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, the Institute of Global Finance–University of New South Wales (IGF-UNSW), the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER), the National University of Singapore Business School (NUS Business School), ), and the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) are organizing an international conference on “Bridging Investment Gaps Through Fintech” (pre-conference) to be held in Singapore in September 2020, associated with the 33rd Australasian Finance and Banking Conference on “FinTech, Innovation, Financial Stability, and Prosperity” (final conference), which is organized by the IGF and the School of Banking and Finance, UNSW, in Sydney, Australia in December 2020.


Rapid advances in technology offer a way to bridge long-term investment gaps. For example, the estimated infrastructure investment gap—the difference between investment needs and current investment levels to maintain strong, inclusive growth and reduce climate change risks—is estimated to be around $26 trillion between 2016 and 2030, equivalent to $1.7 trillion per year in the Asia and Pacific region. Amid a vast excess of savings, these huge investment gaps persist. Technological advances offer opportunities to help reduce this gap and lead to a more efficient allocation of financial resources in the region, and thus promote economic development.

To that end, technology and innovation are critical, as they can help facilitate project identification, design, financing, implementation, and insurance, thereby attracting private investors and minimizing project-related risks. This, in turn, could increase the overall efficiency of long-term finance and related projects, for example through public-private partnerships.

Financial technologies and digital financial systems—encompassing peer-to-peer based lending, blockchain technologies, big data, tokenization, cryptocurrencies, and crowdsourced financing, among others—also offer promising ways to mobilize the long-term finance needed for sustainable and inclusive economic development. However, there are also challenges associated with rapid advances in (financial) technology, such as their possible implications for financial stability, cyber security, and data protection, which need to be considered by policy makers.


The conference will bring together policy makers and researchers to explore opportunities, issues, and challenges embedded in (financial) technologies and identify possible policy considerations at national and regional levels to narrow existing financing gaps.

The organizers encourage both empirical and theoretical policy-relevant papers. Specific examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to:
• How can (financial) technology help improve the mobilization, distribution, and allocation of available financial resources, both within a country and across countries to address development gaps and long-term investment needs?
• How can technology help facilitate project identification, design, financing, implementation, and insurance?
• What policies and regulations are needed to create an ecosystem that helps maximize the benefits offered by technology and fintech, while minimizing the potential challenges and risks, such as assuring consumer protection, data privacy, or financial stability?


• A conference highlights publication summarizing key findings
• Selected papers will be published in SSRN as part of the joint working paper series of the ADB/IGF, subject to the authors’ permission.

The Selection Committee for the conference program consists of ADB, IGF-UNSW, ABFER and ADBI senior researchers, including:

- Cyn-Young Park (Asian Development Bank)
- Fariborz Moshirian (Institute of Global Finance–University of New South Wales)
- Bernard Yeung (Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research)
- Peter Morgan (Asian Development Bank Institute)

Key Dates

Deadline for Submission of Draft Papers 30 June 2020
Notification of Acceptance 24 July 2020
Pre-conference 10-11 September 2020 (Singapore)
Final Conference 15-17 December 2020 (Sydney, Australia)

Financial Support

All submissions of original and unpublished manuscripts should be sent via email with the subject line “ADBfintech_{your last name}_{paper title}”. Only authors of selected manuscripts will be notified. For each accepted manuscript, the ADB will cover the cost of one round trip, economy class airfare, hotel accommodation, and daily subsistence allowance for the duration of the conference of one author per paper who must be a citizen of an ADB member country. Selected papers presented in the pre-conference in Singapore will be considered to be presented in the final conference, 33rd Australasian Finance and Banking Conference (AFBC) on “FinTech, Innovation, Financial Stability, and Prosperity” in Sydney.

Paper Submission Procedure

Please send your draft papers to both:

Peter Rosenkranz (Email:
Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department
Asian Development Bank

Paulo Halili (Email:
Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department
Asian Development Bank