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News Release

Philippines to Welcome World Economic Forum

Desirée Mohindra, Associate Director, Public Engagement Tel.: +639989624343, Email: desiree.mohindra@weforum.org
  • The 23rd World Economic Forum on East Asia will take place in Manila on 21-23 May 2014
  • President Benigno Simeon Aquino III of the Philippines will give the keynote address
  • More than 600 participants from over 30 countries will participate
  • Learn more about the 2014 World Economic Forum on East Asia: http://wef.ch/ea14   

Metro Manila, Philippines, 15 May 2014 – President Benigno Simeon Aquino III of the Philippines will give the keynote address at the 23rd World Economic Forum on East Asia, taking place in Manila on 21-23 May 2014. He will be joined by Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of Vietnam, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia, and U Nyan Tun, Vice-President of Myanmar, it was announced at a press conference today.

Cesar V. Purisima, Secretary of Finance; Ramon R. Jimenez Jr, Secretary of Tourism; and Sushant Palakurthi Rao, Senior Director, Head of South-East Asia, World Economic Forum, presented the programme highlights of next week’s meeting, which is hosted with the support of the Government of the Philippines. More than 600 leaders from business, government, civil society and academia will participate, representing over 30 countries.

The meeting convenes against a backdrop of impressive growth rates and an ambitious journey toward regional integration and trade liberalization in a dynamic economic bloc but which also presents persistent disparities in competitiveness and development. Under the meeting’s theme, Leveraging Growth for Equitable Progress, participants will deliberate the opportunities of the ASEAN Economic Community to promote greater inclusion across East Asia. The programme is built on three pillars: Achieving Equitable Progress, Advancing Models for Sustainable Growth, and Realizing Regional Connectivity.

“Over three billion people live in ASEAN, China and India, and in 2014, the whole East Asian region is expected to be the fastest-growing region in the world. Such progress is impressive only when industry and government leaders are fully committed to equitable distribution and inclusive growth,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

President Aquino will speak about the nation's economic turnaround achieved through widespread reform and the administration's adherence to sound management principles. "The Philippine hosting of the World Economic Forum on East Asia, which happens for the first time in its 23 years in the region, is an opportunity to showcase the gains we have achieved by treading the straight path of good governance. This event serves as an inspiration to the public, business leaders, civil society, and governments across the Pacific and the globe. We are now Asia’s Bright Spot. We hope that our economic comeback story encourages everyone to take this opportunity to invest, and ride the momentum of meaningful progress with us.

The Co-Chairs of the meeting are: Yolanda Kakabadse President, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Switzerland; Takeshi Niinami, Chairman, Lawson, Japan; Atsutoshi Nishida, Chairman of the Board, Toshiba Corporation, Japan; and James T. Riady, Chief Executive Officer, Lippo Group, Indonesia.

Key participants include the following, among others:

  • Cambodia: Sun Chanthol, Senior Minister, Minister of Commerce
  • Indonesia: Muhamad Chatib Basri, Minister of Finance; Muhammad Lutfi, Minister of Trade; and R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Malaysia: Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry
  • Myanmar: U Win Myint, Union Minister of Commerce and U Win Shein, Union Minister of Finance and Revenue
  • Korea: Lee Il-Houng, G20 Sherpa, Ambassador for International Cooperation
  • Japan: Yasutoshi Nishimura, Senior Vice-Minister of the Cabinet Office
  • USA: Samuel J. Locklear III, Commander, United States Pacific Command
  • Vietnam: Cao Duc Phat, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • International organizations: Takehiko Nakao, President, Asian Development Bank (ADB); Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF); and Rachel Kyte, Vice-President and Special Envoy, Climate Change, World Bank

Ahead of the official programme, the World Economic Forum will host several meetings and workshops on initiatives it is currently leading. These inlcude the New Vision for Agriculture (NVA) initiative, which facilitates multi-stakeholder, market-based action, harnessing the power of agriculture to ensure food security, environmental sustainability and economic opportunity; Global Financial Inclusion, which engages a broad spectrum of over 100 institutions – from financial services to telecommunications, retail, consumer industries, civil society and academia – to develop new collaborative models to promote improved and expanded access to financial services; and Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI), which in Manila will focus on engaging the emerging generation of young leaders in creating a level playing field in business and society. 

Notes to Editors


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).