EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Mandaluyong City
May 5, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte lauded the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for being the country’s “persevering ally and formidable partner” towards sustainable growth and development during the dinner hosted by the Philippines as host country of the 51st ADB Annual Meeting.

“The fact that several decades ago, the ADB chose the Philippines as its headquarters in this part of the world continues to inspire and suffuse us with immeasurable pride. Your presence since then is proof of your faith in the capacity of the Philippines to exorcise its financial and economic demons. Your contribution to our country’s development is too evident to be ignored, and we cannot thank you enough for that,” the President said in his speech.

He also attributed the economic growth of the Asia-Pacific region, to which the Philippines falls under, to the ADB’s efforts and assistance through grants and financing.

Moreover, the President stressed that the growing economy should entail an inclusive growth to all the Filipino people, and not only to the selected group of the populace.

“A growing economy is meaningful only if the consequential benefits do not get stuck among the rich who are few but trickle down to the impoverished who are many. To me, that is the purpose and very essence of economic growth and development. The distribution of wealth is what we aim for and not the equalization of poverty,” President Duterte added.

Likewise, he reiterated that the country’s key to growth strategy is a comprehensive and ambitious infrastructure program that will bring up investments to 7.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by the year 2022.

“Build and link all these islands and all communities so that united in purpose and acting as one, we will bring our infrastructure base to match or even surpass those of the neighboring economies. That will allow us to [compete] for investments on even or more attractive terms,” he underscored.

During the dinner, the President joined the ADB Governors and officials, his Cabinet Secretaries of the economic cluster, and ADB’s development partners.

The annual four-day premier forum by the ADB Board of Governors aims to explore ways for bolstering inclusive growth and reducing poverty in the Asia and Pacific region through dialogue, networking, and partnerships as it convenes finance and development ministers, central bank governors, private sector, civil society organizations, media, academia, and development partners.

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