Asia and the Pacific is facing rocketing food and fuel prices, further hurting the nearly 2 billion people in the region struggling on less than $2 a day and complicating economic and monetary policymaking. Floods and earthquakes in the region have added to the pressure.
Meanwhile, environmental degradation and climate change, growing and ageing populations, and global economic rebalancing are among the myriad of other challenges as Asia seeks to cement the foundations for a prosperous future.
The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) upcoming Annual Meeting of its Board of Governors in Ha Noi, Viet Nam will assess these immediate and long-term hurdles with ministers and senior government officials, business leaders, fellow international financial institutions, and civil society representatives.
The 44th Annual Meeting starts on 3 May, alongside a gathering of finance ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Japan, and Republic of Korea, or ASEAN+3. ADB’s Annual Meeting will end on 6 May.
Initial findings of a key study which looks at what the region must do to secure sustainable growth over the next four decades will be discussed at a seminar on 4th May. A panel of top policy makers, including the finance ministers of Bangladesh, France, India, and Japan, plus the Viet Nam central bank governor and the Parliamentary State Secretary of Germany are expected to participate.
Asia and the Pacific now accounts for around a quarter of global economic output but this could soar to around 50% by 2050. By then, the region will account for over half the world’s population, increasingly flooding into the region’s cities, using an ever-larger portion of the world’s finite resources, and generate a bigger carbon footprint.
But these are not just issues for Asia; the world needs to rethink too. A special seminar organized by the ADB, the G20 group of leading emerging and advanced economies, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Japanese Finance Ministry will discuss the reform of the international monetary system against the backdrop of slow growth in G7 economies, high government debt in Europe and an economically muscular Asia.
Christine Lagarde, Finance Minister of France, the current G20 chair, and her Japanese counterpart Yoshihiko Noda are expected to join ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda and the IMF’s Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara in the talks.
In total, the meeting will gather around 3,000 leaders, experts and officials from governments, the private sector, academia, media and civil society.
Deadline for on-line registration is 18 April. For international media still looking to register, contact Gilda Nanquil at firstname.lastname@example.org.