Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Choo Kyung-ho (left) and Japanese Minister of Finance Shunichi Suzuki on May 2 pose for photos before holding a meeting at Songdo Convensia of Songdo International Business District in Incheon's Yeonsu-gu District. (Ministry of Economy and Finance)
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will hold its annual meeting from May 2-5 at Songdo Convensia of Songo International Business District in Incheon's Yeonsu-gu District.
The ADB said it expects a record 5,000 attendees including finance ministers and central bank chiefs from 68 countries and staff of international organizations. The theme of this year's event, the 56th of its kind, is "Rebounding Asia: Recover, Reconnect and Reform."
This is Korea's third time to host the conference, following the first in 1970 in Seoul and second in 2004 on Jeju Island.
Co-hosted by the Korean government and ADB, the event is the first held offline in three years due to COVID-19.
Incheon in 2020 was initially to host the 53rd meeting but the coronavirus caused the event that year and in 2021 to be held via videoconferencing. The Philippine capital of Manila, where the ADB is headquartered, hosted last year's meeting in abridged form with finance ministers and delegations from member countries.
At this year's meeting, Korea will discuss the proposed setup with the ADB of the Climate Innovation and Technology Knowledge Hub (K-Hub) in 2024. In October last year, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Choo Kyung-ho and ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa positively discussed the expansion of a climate cooperation network by building the K-Hub in Korea.
About 70 meetings and events including the opening ceremony will be hosted during the meeting period. On May 2, Korea Seminar Day, a key event of the host country, is scheduled along with a finance ministers' meeting of Korea, China and Japan, another for central bank governors, and the ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' Meeting.
Korea Seminar Day will begin with a discussion between economist Michael Kremer, who won the Nobel Prize in 2019, and Korea Development Institute President Cho Dong Chul. The topics will include macroeconomics in Asia, restructuring of supply chains, digital transformation and fiscal soundness.
On May 3, the opening ceremony will be followed by the Governors' Seminar and ADB Project Plaza. Korea Cultural Night and Korea Reception will also show the nation's traditions combined with cutting-edge technologies.
The next day will see a business session, followed by Korea Business Briefing and ADB President's Reception.
The briefing and interactive exhibitions from May 2-5 will show ADB member countries the innovative technologies of domestic companies and promising industries such as smart city, green energy, future mobility and digital transformation.
Ministers Choo and Suzuki on May 2 held the first bilateral meeting between finance ministers from Korea and Japan in seven years. Such talks were halted in 2016 due to conflict over issues like export restrictions.
Established in 1966, the ADB supports economic and social development in the Asia-Pacific region. Its 49 member countries include Korea and 19 outside of the region.
By Yoon Sojung