Mr. Aso had previously served as Prime Minister, minister of foreign affairs, minister for internal affairs and communications, and minister of state, economic and fiscal policy of Japan.
Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Ms. Indrawati previously served in the same post of minister of finance of Indonesia from 2005 to 2010, before she was appointed as managing director of the World Bank Group in June 2010.
Takehiko Nakao is the President of ADB and the Chairperson of ADB's Board of Directors. He was elected President by ADB's Board of Governors and assumed office in April 2013. Before joining ADB, Mr. Nakao was the vice minister of finance for international affairs at the Ministry of Finance of Japan.
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is the Fijian attorney-general and minister for economy. He has spearheaded a broad program of economic reform to modernize the Fijian economy, which has decreased the tax burden faced by ordinary people, plugged financial leakages, supported a national minimum wage, incentivized development, and spurred job creation. These reforms, coupled with several constitutional and legal reforms, have produced the longest streak of uninterrupted economic growth in Fijian history, funding a massive expansion in access to infrastructure and essential services for the Fijian people.
Gelsomina Vigliotti is the director-general for international financial relations at the Department of the Treasury of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. She is in charge of the analysis of the international economic, monetary, and financial system; and of the preparation of the ministerial meetings of Eurogroup, Ecofin, G7, G20, and IMFC. She is responsible for relations with international financial institutions—including the IMF, multilateral development banks and funds, the European Investment Bank, and the OECD—and the implementation of development aid at the multilateral level. She serves as G7 and G20 deputy and is a member of the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank, as well as the Administrative Council of the European Development Bank. She is an alternate governor for the World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the African Development Bank, ADB, the Caribbean Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Ms. Vigliotti holds a degree in political sciences from the LUISS University in Rome and a MSc in economics from the University of York. She pursued post-graduate studies at the University La Sapienza in Rome and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Ms. Badawi is an award-winning broadcaster with extensive experience, including in programs like the BBC's Hardtalk and Global Questions. She has also produced the History of Africa series. Ms. Badawi sits on several public bodies and is chair of the Royal African Society. She has a BA Hons in politics and economics from Oxford University, a history MA from SOAS University (awarded with distinction), and two honorary doctorates.
Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world—and developing Asia is a key part of its expansion. The region offers incredibly diverse tourist destinations and has become a major source of global tourists. Tourism can generate jobs, raise incomes, and help revitalize stagnant regions of countries. However, a rapid surge of tourists can also put stress on local infrastructure and have serious environmental consequences. Asia’s policy makers face the challenge of guiding the expansion of tourism in a way that protects the environment and improves the quality of life of local residents. A distinguished panel gave their insights on these issues at this seminar.
“Asia and the Pacific has some of the world’s most beautiful natural landscapes and unique cultural monuments,” Mr. Nakao said. “As tourism continues to expand rapidly, it will be important to pursue sustainable tourism that protects the environment such as forests and coral reefs, preserves local cultures, and benefits local communities.”
Panelists raised the importance of good infrastructure to support tourists and, through improved water and wastewater systems, for example, to protect the environment. “There should be development of tourist infrastructure both in quantity and quality,” emphasized Minister Aso. Minister Sayed-Khaiyum stressed the importance of ensuring resilience to both natural hazards and the longer-term issue of climate change. In Fiji, the government imposes a 10% tax on tourism-related businesses which funds climate change mitigation projects. Minister Indrawati addressed the issue of ensuring that local culture and heritage are protected as tourist destinations attract visitors from other countries with different attitudes and mores. Work to develop local skills to ensure tourism-inspired jobs are high quality is also key. Ms. Vigliotti noted the common challenges faced by tourist destinations, whether in Europe or Asia and the Pacific. She underscored the importance of governance and a policy center that defines and implements a strategy.
President Nakao mentioned the importance of the tourism sector to many of ADB’s developing member countries. He noted that ADB assistance has, for example, helped protect natural lakes and local livelihoods in the Kyrgyz Republic and Mongolia, supported tourism planning in the Federated States of Micronesia and Myanmar, and worked to improve transport, infrastructure, and utilities to ensure sustainable tourism in Bhutan and India.