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ADB Meeting Boost To Economy

ADB Meeting Boost To Economy
From left: Andrew Coriakula (student studying in Japan), Adi Miriama Drauna (student studying in Japan), Minister for Economy and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, ADB vice-president for East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Stephen Goff, Melaia Valemei (student studying in Japan) and Suliano Cavuilati (student studying in Japan) after the Future Host Country Event: Fiji Hosting of ADB Annual Meeting 2019 at the ADB headquarters in Manila, Philippines on May 4, 2018. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum publicly aknowledged and praised the students for a wonderful meke performance during the event which showcased the Bula spirit and what Fiji has to offer next year
May 18
11:48 2018

Just imagine the positive im­pact the 52nd Annual Meet­ing of the Asian Development Bank Board of Governors here next year will have on our econo­my and the Pacific as whole.

The Attorney-General and Minis­ter for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khai­yum in his ministerial statement in Parliament yesterday highlight­ed the successful hosting of this meeting will:

nLay the platform for other large multilateral meetings here,

ndevelop visibility competing in the Meetings, Incentives, Con­ferences and Exhibitions (MICE) market.

The annual meeting is scheduled for May 2 to 5 will be held in Nadi.

This is the first time a Pacific Is­land country will be hosting the ADB’s annual meeting.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji is very fortunate through its efforts and all the hard work that’s been carried out to be chosen as the fu­ture host.

He further highlighted that it is a sign of confidence that has been shown to the Fijian Government and also the country.

This will be the largest such event Fiji has hosted.

He anticipates at least 4,000 par­ticipants including Government delegates, ADB personnel, guests, spouses, observers, civil society organisations, media and other ac­companying persons.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum highlighted that the period of the annual ADB meeting is one of the traditional low occupancy periods in our tour­ism sector.

He further elaborated the meet­ing period fits in well as more rooms would be available and it means more business and more employment opportunities in the tourism sector.

He said they have already started preparations towards the meeting and they are confident of deliver­ing above expectations to make it a unique experience for the partici­pants.

It will also be an opportunity for us to showcase our Fijian hospital­ity.

He reiterated to other Pacific Is­land countries while Fiji would be physically hosting the meeting; they want it to be seen more as a Pacific event.

During the 51st ADB meeting in Manila, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum noted the Fijian delegation attended a number of official engagements with ADB board of Governors, ADB management and convened a number of bilateral meetings.

It is also provided a valuable op­portunity for Governors from member countries to discuss key global and regional issues, devel­opment challenges and opportuni­ties.

It also provided an opportunity to discuss financing options to suit the development priorities and the economical financial needs of member countries.

The 14 Pacific Developing Mem­ber Countries are Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of Mar­shall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

He highlighted that Pacific Gov­ernors greatly appreciated ADB’s growing engagement with the Pa­cific region.

As part of Strategy 2030, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum noted that ADB should consider trigger-based mechanisms, where countries can access concessional financing in the event of adverse climatic events.

He also said embedding climatic vulnerability and fragility into Multilateral Development finance is essential for climate adaptation, prudent fiscal management and meeting the sustainable develop­ment goals by 2030.

Responses:

Meanwhile, Opposition Members of Parliament Aseri Radrodro and Prem Singh questioned ADB’s role in the Pacific and who will be foot­ing the bill for the ADB meeting here.

Mr Radrodro focussed on the role of ADB in the Pacific and how much funding it has given to each Pacific Island country and high­lighted the top eight debtors of ADB.

He said he wondered Fiji’s rank­ing given that Fiji had been a mem­ber of ADB since 1970 and that ADB has committed around $317 million in loans and $27m in tech­nical assistance.

He also claimed that in the past ADB had pointed out Fiji’s un­stable political environment that needed to be addressed and their vision to assist Fiji achieve politi­cal and economic reforms.

He further claimed that contrast­ingly ADB as such despite the 2006 takeover continued implementing projects in the transport and water sectors.

However he said: “Any interna­tional meeting hosted by Fiji is always welcomed because it means we have a chance to earn some foreign dollars and expose Fiji fur­ther to overseas visitors.”

He further claimed that ADB’s new focus seems to be to join the bandwagon championing climate change.

“Yes we need mitigation and reha­bilitation programmes for climate change, and yes we need develop­ment assistance.

“But it does not have to come at a cost to our people.

“At a cost of further spiralling into the abyss of debt.”

Mr Singh said they appreciated the international platforms are beneficial for raising Fiji’s profile – but at what cost to the tax payers?

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