Global thinkers to grace ADB annual meet in Manila

Published March 29, 2018, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

Influential thinkers in the fields of international economics, history and digital technology are set to speak on global economic trends that will shape the world’s future during the 51st Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Manila in May.

Historian Peter Frankopan, economist Paola Subacchi and technology investor Masayoshi Son will be among the key speakers at the May 4 forum, which will also include as panelists former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and current Monetary Board board member Felipe Medalla.

Also included in the panel are  Dr. Naoyuki Yoshino, dean of the ADB Institute, Jin Liqun, president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; and Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury.

Frankopan, a professor of global history at Oxford University, is the author of Silk Roads: A New History of the World, while Subacchi,  the former director of international economics research at Chatham House, is an acknowledged expert on international financial and monetary systems.

Son is the chief executive of the multinational conglomerate Softbank Group, which owns businesses in the areas of telecommunications, e-commerce, Internet, technology services, finance, media and marketing, among other investments.

Set on May 3-6 at the bank’s headquarters in Mandaluyong City, the ADB Annual Meeting will be attended by the finance and development ministers and central bank governors of the bank’s 67 member-economies, of which 48 are from the Asia-Pacific region.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who is this year’s chairman of the ADB Board of Governors, said that some 3,000 representatives from the bank’s development partners, private sector and civil society organizations, media, and the academe are expected to take part in the four-day event in Manila.

This year’s annual meeting, which has for its theme “Linking People and Economies for Inclusive Development,” will be preceded by a series of forums and conferences meant to examine the changing global and regional realities and challenges,” Dominguez said.

At the event’s recent press launch, Dominguez underscored the need for the ADB to “reinvent” itself by pursuing new development programs to spell wider economic inclusion across the Asia-Pacific after helping transform the region into the “center of gravity” of the global economy.

Dominguez said the slew of discussions in the upcoming ADB annual meeting on inclusive growth are in sync with the Duterte administration’s strategy on how to hurdle this kind of challenge, which is through massive investments in infrastructure and higher spending on social services.

Dominguez said the Philippines’ hosting of the ADB Annual Meeting is “fortuitous” for the country as it will provide the government the opportunity to set the spotlight on the domestic economy’s strong growth and its reform agenda to sustain and make it inclusive by improving living standards and dramatically bringing down the poverty rate by 2022.

The Philippines itself has benefited immensely from its strong partnership with ADB, which has been one of the country’s biggest sources of official development assistance (ODA) over the past five decades, he noted. (CSL)

Before this year’s event, 15 previous Annual Meetings were also held in Manila, with the most recent one in 2012 and an earlier small-scale meeting in 2003.

This year’s host, the Philippines, is one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies and has been named as a “rising star” in foreign direct investments by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.