This is just one in a series of essays published in conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of the World Bank. This series is devoted to improving understanding of the evolving role of the Bank. Each essay analyzes the Bank's approach to the major developmental challenges its borrowing countries have faced. East Asia has been uniquely successful in fostering growth, reducing poverty, raising living standards, and integrating with world markets. The credit for this achievment belongs to the governments and peoples of the region, as well as to the open markets in industrial countries and development assistance which has contributed to this progress. Since its first loan to Thailand, in 1950, the Bank has had a long and active involvement in the region. This paper details that involvement, emphasizing both successes and failures in the region, as well the work which still needs to be done. The authors examine the following topics: 1) diversity and commonality within the region, 2) human resources development in Korea 3) reducing poverty in Indonesia, 3) macroeconomic stability in Malaysia and Thailand, 4) private sector development in the Philippines, and 5) the Bank's role in China's transition.