ADB Concludes 45th Annual Meeting

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today concluded the 45th Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors in Manila, Philippines and announced that the 2013 meeting will take place in Delhi, India.

ADB’s meeting in Manila from 2-5 May gathered a record number of more than 5,000 registered delegates including finance ministers and other key policymakers, business leaders, and academics. Civil society representatives and media also attended in record numbers.

Key issues at this year’s meeting included what Asia must do to adapt to the global economic downturn, build resilience in urban centers, promote green growth, ensure regional food security, and grow trade between Asia and Latin America.

The meeting took place against the backdrop of an Asia and Pacific region that has seen steady growth and is leading global recovery, but is vulnerable to growing inflation, spikes in fuel prices, austerity measures in the eurozone, and worsening impacts of climate change.

The region must update its growth model to accommodate a “new normal” of prolonged economic restructuring in advanced economies, and remove obstacles to sustained and equitable growth in developing Asia, according to the How Can Asia Respond to Global Economic Crisis and Transformation? monograph presented at the Governors’ Seminar

The theme of “Inclusive Growth through Better Governance and Partnerships” provided a platform to discuss one of the region’s most pressing issues: how to bring the benefits of Asia’s rapid growth to all levels of society, especially the poor. Determining how best to pursue inclusive growth can lead to sustainable growth, support greater levels of trade, and generate growth in tourism. Conversely, a weaker Asia presents a host of threats to global growth and prosperity.

ASEAN+3 also announced a doubling of the funds available under the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization, a pool of emergency liquidity for use in times of economic crisis, and the establishment of the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund, with an initial equity of $485 million to finance the development of regional road, rail, power, water and other critical infrastructure needs, which are estimated at about $60 billion a year.

ADB also announced that it secured $12.4 billion for its concessional Asian Development Fund, a 9.5% increase over the previous four-year period. The funds will be used to promote gender mainstreaming, good governance, food security, private sector development and the formation of a Disaster Response Facility.

The Board of Governors is ADB’s highest policy-making body and the annual meetings are statutory occasions at which Governors can provide guidance on ADB’s administrative, financial, and operational priorities. Next year's meeting will take place in Delhi, India from 2-5 May 2013.