Preparations heat up for ADB annual meeting


MANILA — The Philippines is hosting the 51st Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors and related events on May 3-6 at the ADB Headquarters in Mandaluyong City.

Some 3,000 delegates are expected to troop to Manila for the annual conference, including finance ministers and central bank governors of the 67 ADB member-countries, bankers, multilateral institutions, as well as representatives from the private sector, civil society, academe, and media.

The 51st ADB meeting is anchored on the theme “Linking People and Economies for Inclusive Development.” Among the issues to be discussed are globalization, jobs in Asia, fintech, infrastructure funding, climate change, women entrepreneurship, and ageing populations.

Philippine Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who chairs the ADB Board of Governors, led the third leg of the press launch for the country’s hosting at the ASEAN Convention Centre in Clark Freeport last Friday.

Previous press launches were held in Metro Manila last February and also in Davao City last month. The latter coincided with the inaugural Philippine Economic Briefing to inform Mindanao-based business leaders about the Duterte administration’s inclusive growth agenda.

During the Clark leg, Dominguez was joined by ADB officials, namely: Board Secretary Woochong Um, South Asia Director General Ramesh Subramaniam, Country Director Kelly Bird, and Principal Country Specialist Joven Balbosa.

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

ADB, which has been based in Manila since its inception in 1966, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.

Prior to this year’s event, 15 previous ADB Annual Meetings were also held in Manila, the most recent of which was in 2012. The 51st meeting will be the biggest international event to be hosted by the Philippines in 2018, following its successful hosting of the ASEAN Summits and 50th Anniversary activities last year.

Meanwhile, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) issued an advisory regarding a dry-run today along EDSA (Ortigas to Magallanes) from 7 a.m. to 12 noon to be conducted for the 51st ADB Annual Meeting by the event’s transportation, traffic, and security committee.

MMDA warns the commuting and motoring public of heavy traffic along the dry-run zone and advises everyone to take alternative routes.