Colombo Plan

Reference work entry
Part of the The Statesman's Yearbook book series (SYBK)

History. Founded in 1950 to promote the development of newly independent Asian member countries, the Colombo Plan has grown from a group of seven Commonwealth nations into an organization of 25 countries. Originally the Plan was conceived for a period of six years but the Consultative Committee gave the Plan an indefinite life span in 1980.

Members. Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, South Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, USA and Vietnam.

Aims. The aims of the Colombo Plan are: (1) to provide a forum for discussion, at local level, of development needs; (2) to facilitate development assistance by encouraging members to participate as donors and recipients of technical co-operation; and (3) to execute programmes to advance development within member countries. The Plan currently has the following programmes: Programme for Public Administration (PPA); South-South Technical Co-operation Data Bank Programme (SSTC/DB); Drug Advisory Programme (DAP); Programme for Private Sector Development (PPSD); Colombo Plan Staff College for Technician Education (CPSC).

Structure. The Consultative Committee is the principal policy-making body of the Colombo Plan. Consisting of all member countries, it meets every two years to review the economic and social progress of members, exchange views on technical co-operation programmes and review the Plan’s activities. The Colombo Plan Council represents each member government and meets several times a year to identify development issues, recommend measures to be taken and ensure implementation.

  • Headquarters: 556 Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 8, Sri Lanka.

  • Website:

  • Email:

  • Secretary-General: Kinley Dorji (Bhutan).

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© The Author(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019

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