Digital transformation is central to enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of economies and driving their sustainable development. Digital finance and trade play an important role in these dynamics. In this context, sound and efficient domestic and cross-border digital payments systems are increasingly crucial for reducing inequality and enhancing economic integration. Moreover, a new strand of research on sustainable digital finance and green financial technology (fintech) has emerged in recent years, the implications of which have the potential to deliver new environmental sustainability breakthroughs. Given accelerating digitalization and innovation in digital finance after the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that policy makers strike the right balance between financial regulation and enabling financial innovation. More broadly, the link between digital finance and sustainable economic and environmental outcomes is currently not very well understood, while many economies lie at different stages of financial development and digital finance adoption.

Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), the Sim Kee Boon Institute for Financial Economics at SMU (SKBI), and the journal, Sustainability, are seeking original research papers on digital finance and its implications for sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Selected papers will be featured during a related virtual conference at the end of 2022. They will also be considered for open access publication in a special issue of Sustainability, an SSCI-listed peer-reviewed journal with an impact factor of 3.889, and the ADBI Working Paper Series.


About the Call for Papers

While papers can have a global dimension, papers with a focus on Asia and the Pacific are desirable. Paper topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Fintech and sectoral productivity
  • Fintech and inclusive growth
  • Digital finance and resilience to macroeconomic shocks
  • Digital payment systems and economic efficiency
  • Digital finance and monetary policy effectiveness
  • Digital credit intermediation and financial stability
  • Central bank digital currencies, cross-border digital financial flows, and economic integration
  • Trade finance and competitiveness
  • Digital financial inclusion and long-term growth
  • Digital finance and environmental sustainability
  • Sustainable digital finance and green fintech

Arrangements for Selected Papers

Authors of selected papers will be notified by 31 October and invited to present during the virtual conference at the end of 2022. Papers to be considered for the special issue of Sustainability will be announced after the conference.

Guest Editors

  • John Beirne, ADBI Vice-Chair of Research and ADBI Senior Research Fellow
  • Dave Fernandez, SMU Professor and SKBI Director


Submission Details

  1. Authors should submit full manuscripts of around 8,000 words, including an abstract of 100 words.

  2. All paper submissions must be original and not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

  3. Please submit your paper at

  4. The deadline for submission is 17 October 2022.


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