Delegates arrive in Uzbekistan for ADB’s first annual meeting in Central Asia

n84Delegates began arriving at the UzExpoCentre in Tashkent today to register for Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) 43rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors – the first time the event is being held in Central Asia.

Finance ministers, senior government officials, business leaders, academics, media and members of international organizations and civil society, are among up to 3,000 participants expected at the meeting, which runs from 1 May to 4 May.

The event gives participants the opportunity to engage in dialogue on a broad range of issues linked to ADB’s mission to reduce poverty and improve the lives of millions of people in the region.

At this year’s meeting, ADB will present its latest annual Development Effectiveness Review, its annual corporate performance assessment, and how it fared in 2009 in pursuit of Strategy 2020 – its long term development framework which was adopted at the 2008 Annual Meeting in Madrid, Spain.

ADB officials, government leaders and private sector experts will participate in seminars on major issues including regional integration, climate change, global monetary reform, and the development agenda for Asia in the wake of the global crisis. This year’s Governors’ Seminar, involving ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda and a select group of finance ministers, is titled “Asian Integration and Global Growth.”

There is also a session on tourism and its economic impact, along with a series of country presentations from India, People’s Republic of China, and Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

ADB’s highest policy-making body is its Board of Governors and the annual meetings are statutory occasions for the Governors to provide guidance on ADB administrative, financial and operational directions.

The Tashkent meeting will hold its formal opening session on the morning of 3 May and will close late afternoon on 4 May with a press conference.

Uzbekistan joined ADB in 1995 and is the 15th largest shareholder among regional members and the 14th largest borrower. In total, ADB has extended 34 loans for more than US$2.5 billion on a commitment basis. ADB has also provided technical assistance of more than US$41 million.