ADB meeting of top finance men seen as Philippines’ ‘coming-out’ party


GOING GREEN Solar panels on ADB’s roof in Mandaluyong City. DAXIM LUCAS

About 4,300 finance officials from 67 different countries will converge on Manila in early May for the 45th annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Philippine government officials said the event, to be held from May 2 to 5 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), would be an exciting opportunity to showcase positive developments in the country, particularly economic growth and good government.

The officials said they were confident that the event would improve the Philippines’ image in the world community.

“The [publicity] that the Philippines will get from its hosting of the event is priceless,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in a round-table discussion with Philippine Daily Inquirer editors and reporters on Wednesday night.

To create a buzz

“I am confident that [the delegates] will create a buzz about the Philippines after attending the event,” Purisima said.

He described the event as a “coming-out opportunity” for the Aquino administration to showcase the fruits of [its campaign for] good government.

“The event is an opportunity for participants to share best practices,” Purisima said. “In the case of the Philippines, the event will be an opportunity for the Aquino administration to showcase the dividends of good governance and its role in building an economy.”

The country’s finance chief said prudent policies of the Aquino administration, which is less than two years old, had already led to significant economic benefits.

For instance, the government’s policies related to debt management, revenue collection and public spending, he said, had earned the favor of portfolio investors, as manifested by the decline in interest rates on bonds sold by the government here and abroad. Reduced interest rates led to $1 billion in savings for the government in 2011 alone, he said.

Annual meetings of the ADB are a venue for policymakers and private-sector leaders in various Asian countries to discuss issues that affect the economic and social well-being of Asians. Policy recommendations to improve socioeconomic status of member-countries are raised during the meetings.

High-profile delegates to the event, besides official delegations from the ADB’s 67 member-countries, include heads of central banks, finance ministers, presidents and chief executive officers of international banks, officials of credit-rating agencies, representatives from the G20, and officials from development banks in Latin America.

Representatives from various foreign news organizations are also expected to attend the event.

The event is also the 15th time that the Philippines, where the ADB has its headquarters, is hosting the governors’ meeting since the bank was established in 1966.

VIP meetings

ADB Secretary Robert LT Dawson, who was also at the Inquirer round table, said other high-profile gatherings would be held at the PICC at the same time as the board meeting.

The other meetings include those of senior officials of the G20, finance ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations  and their East Asian dialogue partners China, Japan and South Korea, and representatives from the Coral Triangle countries like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands.

Dawson said the participants would include representatives from Inter-American Development Bank (ADB’s counterpart in Latin America), international credit-rating agencies Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investor Service as well as various developmental agencies and international banks.

Home-stay experience

“There are many, many meetings [that will be held], but we want this to be a personal experience for those who will come,” Dawson said.

Dawson said the ADB had arranged a home-stay experience for delegates, in which they and their spouses (for those who are married) would spend a night in a host family’s home.

“We are also implementing, for the first time, our green meeting [initiative],” Dawson added. “We will use as little paper as possible.”

Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), said the ADB event would help the country earn substantial “economic dividends.”

He said that from the delegates’ board and lodging expenses alone, the Philippines could already generate P160 million in revenues.

“Revenues will also be generated from the expenses of the delegates for shopping, transportation, food, etc.,” Guinigundo said.

Guinigundo said the Philippines would also showcase its early achievements in poverty reduction.

While the Philippines is still confronted with a serious poverty problem, he said, the government, through the BSP, had already instituted internationally acclaimed measures on reducing poverty.

Microfinance leader

One is the program helping microenterprises access bank loans. The BSP has been taking the lead in the creation of “credit surety funds” (CSF), pools of money contributed by local governments, state-owned banks and cooperatives that are meant to provide guarantees to bank loans being secured by microenterprises, he said.

The CSF program deals with the problem of inaccessibility of bank loans for low-income entrepreneurs. The program, Guinigundo said, is one of the reasons the Philippines is known as one of the leaders in the promotion of microfinance.

“We are proud of our achievements in the area of microfinance, and we can share these with our foreign friends,” Guinigundo said.

Cultural, social programs

Finance Undersecretary Rosalinda de Leon said cultural and social programs had been prepared for the delegates.

She said several Filipino households were tapped to host dinners for selected delegates and their spouses to experience Filipino hospitality.

Cultural shows will also be presented in between some formal meetings to entertain the guests. An entertainment program has also been prepared for the spouses of the delegates, she said.

De Leon said the PICC, owned by the BSP, had been refurbished and decorated for the event.

“We want to make them feel that it’s more fun holding ADB meetings in the Philippines,” Purisima said.

On logistics and security, Purisima said the Philippine National Police had been tapped to provide security service within the vicinity of the PICC, and traffic officers had been given assignments to ensure smooth transportation of delegates from their hotels to the event’s venue.

Originally posted at 12:05 am | Friday, April 27,  2012

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  • yesyesyo

    Keep it up PNoy!

    God speed Philippines.

  • joboni96

    ‘finance officials from 67 different countries’

    itong mga bayan na ito
    ang nakikinabang
    sa mga pautang ng adb sa atin

    malaking rason
    kaya’t 1/3 ng national budget
    nauubos sa pambayad
    kaysa magamit natin
    sa pag unlad

  • Andres Bonifacio

    The Philippines is gay?! LOL!

  • Mang Teban

    Business with pleasure is what the ADB meeting will be all about.
    However, if this meeting will really highlight P-Noy’s “achievements”, I think Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima will bore the delegates.

    I think that the ADB convention is about global events and trends on the economy and it might be premature for P-Noy to showcase (show off) his apparent successes in the Philippine economy. As a matter of fact, the nature of this congress of people is not about the Philippines. Manila happens to be the venue but this isn’t quite the same as inviting foreigners to go on sightseeing tours. The delegates would most likely wish to listen to what the G-20 countries have in their future economic agenda. The delegates would be interested to know where their individual countries will benefit most in investing and in which areas their countries’ products and services can be directed.

    Will the finance ministers become interested in the projected end of the protracted war with the MILF as our government has agreed in principle to give the Muslims a sub-state status and hand them a big chunk of land area in Mindanao? Will the finance ministers become interested that the Supreme Court is being tamed by the impeachment trial of its chief justice? Will the finance ministers become interested in the RH bill that our legislators are passionate to push? Will the finance ministers clap their hands to the increasing collections by the BIR and Bureau of Customs? Will the finance ministers become interested to know that malls are sprouting all over the country and rare century-old trees are being “earth-balled”? Will the finance ministers become interested in the K +12 implementation even when the DepEd Secretary admitted that the additional two year-curriculum is still subject to study? Will the finance ministers become interested in the strength of the Philippine peso against the US dollar?

    I don’t think that any of the aforementioned questions will interest a single finance minister or delegate to the ADB convention. I also do not think that it will matter much if the delegates rush to the beaches and hotels to splurge their foreign currency. Nothing beats the dollar remittances by the OFWs (that run into hundred millions of US dollars monthly) who labor away from their loved ones and yet are not given real incentives by the government.

    So, it will just be a mere working visit by the delegates with pleasure in the evening with their spouses like any businessman who travels abroad to find an opportunity. Let us not over-rate this event which is not even exclusively Philippine initiative. It is ADB’s project and it is shame that P-Noy thinks that it is some opportunity for him to sell the country…NO, SIR.

  • efriend

    This is good for the PHL.  Don’t mind the omnipresent Filipino crabs.  They are everywhere.  There is no pesticide for it yet. 

    • Ceazar

      I am wondering, were Filipino crabs born that way, or did they develop the mentality over the years. They are everywhere and it seems their population is on the rise.

      On the other hand, I love our aquatic Filipino crabs. I can eat one large female in one sitting. Never mind the cholesterol.

      • JuanCrisostomoIbarra

        Wondering how these “Filipino crabs” were born is the same as wondering how gays (bekis) were born. In either case, did they mutate or what? hehehe

  • Bulagas

    propaganda bullsh17 again

  • jus_sayinagain

    Hyped-up event…P150M provided by Malacanang for a 4 day event, for a little more than 2000 inbound delegates and the Palace calls it priceless?

    The past 40+ years, Manila has hosted this event numerous times.


    2 to 5 May
    Philippine International Convention Center, Manila

    3 to 6 May
    Ha Noi, Viet Nam 

    3 to 4 May
    Tashkent, Uzbekistan 

    4 to 5 May
    Bali International Convention Centre, Indonesia

    5 to 6 May
    Feria de Madrid, Spain

    6 to 7 May
    Kyoto International Conference Center, Japan

    4 to 6 May
    Hyderabad International Convention Centre, India

    4 to 6 May
    Istanbul Convention & Exhibition Center, Turkey

    15 to 17 May
    International Convention Center Jeju, Republic of Korea

    30 June
    ADB Headquarters, Manila

    10 to 12 May
    Shanghai International Convention Centre, People’s Republic of China

    9 to 11 May
    Hawai’i Convention Center, Honolulu, USA

    6 to 8 May
    The Westin Riverside Plaza Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand

    30 April to 2 May
    ADB Headquarters, Manila

    29 April to 1 May
    Geneva International Conference Center, Switzerland

    11 to 13 May
    Sea Hawk Hotel, Fukuoka, Japan

    30 April to 2 May
    ADB Headquarters, Manila

    3 to 5 May
    Aotea Centre, Auckland, New Zealand

    3 to 5 May
    Acropolis Convention Center, Nice, France

    4 to 6 May
    ADB Headquarters, Manila

    4 to 6 May
    Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, China

    24 to 26 April
    Hotel Vancouver, Canada

    2 to 4 May
    Ashok Hotel, New Delhi, India

    4 to 6 May
    Great Wall Sheraton Hotel, Beijing

    28 to 30 April
    The Westin Philippine Plaza, Manila

    27 to 29 April
    Royal Hotel, Osaka, Japan

    30 April to 2 May
    Philippine International Convention Center, Manila

    30 April to 2 May
    Dusit Thani Hotel, Bangkok

    25 to 27 April
    RAI International Congress, Amsterdam

    4 to 6 May
    Philippine International Convention Center, Manila

    28 to 30 April
    Philippine International Convention Center, Manila

    30 April to 2 May
    Sheraton-Waikiki Hotel, Hawai’i, USA

    30 April to 2 May
    Philippine International Convention Center, Manila

    2 to 4 May
    ADB Headquarters, Manila

    24 to 26 April
    Hofburg Congress Center, Vienna, Austria

    21 to 23 April
    ADB Headquarters, Manila

    22 to 24 April
    Borobudur Inter-Continental Hotel, Indonesia

    24 to 26 April
    ADB Headquarters, Manila

    25 to 27 April
    Kuala Lumpur Hilton, Malaysia

    26 to 28 April
    ADB Headquarters, Manila

    20 to 22 April
    Hofburg Congress Center, Vienna, Austria

    15 to 17 April
    Singapore Conference Hall Building, Singapore

    9 to 11 April
    Chosun Hotel, Seoul, Republic of Korea

    10 to 12 April
    Wentworth Hotel, Sydney, Australia

    4 to 6 April
    Manila Hilton, Manila

    24 to 26 November
    Tokyo Prince Hotel, Japan

    • Shadows1

       Daming datos ni pandakekok ahh. Paano nyo kami maco-convince na layman si jus_sayinagain para magkaroon ng inside information about the Philippines hosting the ADB meet? Mga propagandista ni pandakeko, laging in full gear, ginagamit lahat ng venue para manira. Puros nega. P,,,,ng ina mo ano ba ginawa mo for 9 years? Nagnakaw ka lng pati mga kaibigan mo at kamag-anak mo.

      • cheerleader

        get out of this forum if you just keep on babbling nonsense. if you notice (THAT IS A BIG “IF”), just as this article is telling us, adb meetings are “public.” SO, THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NO NEED TO BE AN “INSIDER” TO GET ANY INFORMATION, dummy.

      • Pitbulldog

        Di ka na dapat nagtataka at nagtatanong, e, nandito ang opisina nila.  Saan pa ba magmi-meeting yan, sa Timbuktu?  Useless press release ni P-noy. 

      • jus_sayinagain

         Sabi ni Purisima, P150M ang bigay ng malacanang.  Sabi rin niya sponsored ng BMW ang car transportation.  Dagdag rin niyang sinabi na higit sa gastos ng malacanang ang mga lokal na negosyante ay gumastos rin ng halos parehong halaga.

        Pwede mo ring tingnan ang ADB website pare sa mga nakaraang meetings.

        Ngayon, hulaan mo kung kaninong mga kamaganak at kaibigan ang nakikinabang sa mga negosyo ngayon…hindi sila pandak.

        Si P-Noy ang mahalig sa propaganda…puro pa-ganda!

        Tama ka…sa 9 years ni P-noy sa congreso at sendado…ano ang nagawa nya?

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