Plenary Hall, PICC, Pasay City
 4 May 2012

President Benigno S. Aquino III attended the opening ceremonies of the 45th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Governors, or the Manila 2012, being held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

The ADB aims to help accelerate the economic development of developing member countries in Asia and the Pacific.  This year’s meeting has the theme “Inclusive Growth through Better Governance and Partnerships.”

The four-day event started on May 2nd with 4,000 delegates from 67 ADB member countries attending in various seminars and activities until May 5th.

In his message, President Aquino expressed that the country’s hosting of this year’s ADB Board of Governors Annual Meeting reaffirms the newfound confidence that the international community has exhibited towards the Philippines.  He said that the country’s determination to institute genuine and meaningful reforms based on his administration’s belief that good governance is the bedrock of equitable progress had resulted to favorable results and actions, such as the six positive ratings from different credit ratings agencies and the 27 all-time highs in the Philippine stock market in just 22 months of office.

“We have identified three sectors that will have the most impact on inclusive growth: Agriculture has experienced a 51.3 percent increase in its budget this year. We are also going all-out in our ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ tourism campaign, along with a more liberalized air policy to increase access to the country’s secondary gateways. And, aside from the aforementioned strides in infrastructure development, we are also set to roll out 10 Public-Private Partnership projects this year, which will include schools and extensions to our train systems,” the President said.

He emphasized that change has set in the Philippines and that the country is open for business, thereby “it can only end with a people reaping the benefits of a system where growth is both inclusive and sustained, where progress is felt by all, and where every citizen lives the life of dignity that he truly deserves.”

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