Funds and fun as Manila hosts 2012 ADB meet

Manila is pitching the Philippines as an investment and tourist destination to over 4,000 delegates, mostly foreigners and investors, at the annual ADB governors' meeting

MANILA, Philippines – When the Aquino government took office in 2010, the economic team of the Cabinet already had the 2012 ADB Annual meeting in mind. After an almost two-year-long preparation, the government is pulling out all the stops for the 4-day event, which commences Wednesday, May 2.

Manila’s hosting of the 2012 ADB Annual Meeting of Governors is considered relevant since the headquarters of the multilateral lender is located in the Philippines, which last hosted this coming together of key policy makers, top ranking officials and investors almost a decade ago.

With thousands of foreign guests — including finance ministers, central bank executives, top ranking government officials from 67 ADB member countries — the Philippines sees this event as an opportunity to pitch the country as an investment and tourist destination, given the backdrop of the Aquino administration’s promise and efforts of clean government.

Among the over 4,000 registered participants are representatives of investment banks and their clients, some of whom are staying in posh hotels or hosted in homes of Manila’s shakers and movers.

The event was designed to capture both business and travel/tourism needs of the delegates, who will be attending several seminars, meetings, and other gatherings at two venues.

Manila officials and their industry partners will highlight key industries that drive inclusive growth through tourism, infrastructure, information technology and agriculture at the SMX Center.

The ADB officials, on the other hand, will host seminars, briefings on topics affecting the region, including urban disaster risk management, Asia’s role in the global economic recovery, green growth and regional food security, at the recently refurbished Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

This year’s Governors’ Seminar will explore how Asia can respond to the global economic downturn and eurozone crisis. The session will feature economist Jeffrey Sachs and finance officials from the Philippines, Japan, India and the People’s Republic of China.

The senior ASEAN+3 officials will also meet on the sidelines of the Annual Meeting.

Among those expected to be announced is a $12 billion pledge from supporters to fund ADB’s anti-poverty efforts in the region.   

In the evenings, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima will host parties that will feature world-class Filipino performers.

Packaged tours and shopping activities are also available for the delegates’ wives and other companions. –