|Incheon Mayor Park Nam-choon|
By Kang Seung-woo
Incheon is readying itself for hosting the annual conference of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) next year.
Since it was picked in January as the host city for the 53rd Annual Meeting of the ADB's Board of Governors that will be held at Songdo Convensia from May 2 to 5 of 2020, the nation's western port city has fully concentrated its efforts on preparing for the organization's most important meeting.
The ADB's annual meetings have become a premier forum for decision-makers from 68 member countries coming from the Asia-Pacific region, North America and Europe. This year's conference drew 3,582 attendees from 76 countries, 49 of which are from Asia-Pacific.
Incheon hopes the meeting will encourage further development of Songdo as a sustainable city. Songdo, built from scratch on reclaimed land, was designed as an international business district.
"Incheon has successfully hosted high-profile international conferences with its well-equipped infrastructure for meetings, incentive tours, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) such as Incheon International Airport and Songdo Convensia," Incheon Mayor Park Nam-choon said in a press release. "Songdo has also been selected as the nation's first International Conference Complex."
Adding the ADB meeting to its list of renowned conferences, the city plans to take advantage of the event to promote Incheon to the world as an optimal place for summit-level conferences.
"The ADB conference will pave the way for Incheon to emerge as a global conference city, and furthermore an enhanced partnership with the ADB is expected, which will help local companies make inroads into the Asian market," the mayor said.
"We are set to give our full support to the ADB meeting."
It is the third time for Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, to host the Annual Meeting of the ADB's Board of Governors following the 1970 event in Seoul and the 2004 edition in Seogwipo on Jeju Island.
The Philippines-based ADB was established in 1966 and Korea is a founding member.