ADB meeting expected to lure 3,000 delegates

Some 3,000 delegates are expected to troop to Manila for the 51st ADB Annual Meeting scheduled on May 3-6 this year.

They include the finance ministers and central bank governors of the ADB member-countries, bankers, representatives from the private sector, civil society, academe, multilateral institutions and the media.

Anchored on the theme “Linking People and Economies for Inclusive Development,” among the issues to be discussed during the 51st meeting are globalization, jobs in Asia, financial technology, private sector mobilization in terms of funding infrastructure, building resilience to climate change, expanding opportunities for women entrepreneurs, and tapping technology to maximize the skills of aging populations and utilizing it as an effective tool to make development inclusive.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who chairs the ADB Board of Governors this year, will lead the third leg of the press launch of the Philippines’ hosting of the Bank’s annual meeting, along with the second series of the country-based Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB), at the ASEAN Convention Center here today (Friday, April 13).

The previous press launches of the Philippines’ hosting of the ADB meeting were held in the cities of Manila in February and Davao in March. It was also in Davao City last month that the PEB was first held in the country to brief Mindanao-based business leaders of the Duterte administration’s inclusive growth agenda.
In the Clark leg of the ADB press launch, Dominguez will be joined by ADB Board Secretary Woochong Um, together with ADB South Asia Director General Ramesh Subramaniam, ADB Country Director Kelly Bird and ADB Principal Country Specialist Joven Balbosa.
The PEB, meanwhile, will include as speakers and panelists Secretaries Dominguez, Ernesto Pernia of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr., Assistant Secretary Teresa Habitan of the Department of Finance (DOF), Director Rolando Toledo of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and Vivencio Dizon, president and CEO of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

According to Dominguez, the ADB meeting will focus this year on how to “make progress more evenly felt throughout the entire membership of the ADB, while Um said the Bank sees “an increasingly complex development landscape emerging – rapid technological progress offering opportunities and challenges, climate change and environmental pressures, aging populations, urbanization and infrastructure gaps.” ‘’

Dominguez said that between now and its 51stAnnual Meeting in May, the ADB will be holding a series of fora and conferences meant to examine the changing global and regional challenges and, more importantly, how the bank can play an “even more effective role” in helping attain inclusive growth for the poorest communities in its member-economies.

Um said “these are exciting times” for this year’s host, the Philippines, which has maintained its steady pace of economic growth, with ADB projecting its GDP to accelerate to 6.8 percent in 2018 “driven by increased investment.”

He said the ADB is contributing to the Philippine government’s commitment to sustainable and inclusive growth by “helping improve infrastructure, regional development, public service delivery, youth employment and education, and also minimizing disaster risks, and expanding financial inclusion.” (DOF)