AROUND 500 government and private sector leaders from across the Indo-Pacific region are expected to attend the US-led business forum in the Indo-Pacific region in Manila this May.
In a statement, the US State Department said the 6th Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) will held in Manila on May 21 with the US Trade and Development Agency and the Philippines as co-sponsors.
The IPBF will connect CEOs, project developers, government officials, and sources of financing for priority infrastructure in emerging Indo-Pacific economies.
“The IPBF will showcase high-impact private sector investment and government efforts to support market competition, job growth, and high-standard development for greater prosperity and economic inclusion in the Indo-Pacific,” the US State Department said.
The focus themes of IPBF this year are clean energy, digital transformation, supply chain resiliency, transportation infrastructure and emerging technologies.
Around 500 leaders — from CEOs to project developers, government officials, and sources of financing — from countries across the region are expected to participate in the one-day event.
Aside from speeches, there will be breakout panels and “enhanced” business matchmaking during the two-day forum, the IPBF secretariat said in a separate statement.
“IPBF is also a chance to learn more about government tools and programs to support U.S. participation in the region’s priority projects,” it added.
The IPBF advances the Biden administration’s agenda to pivot back to Indo-Pacific region amidst rising China.
The US State Department said that the IPBF is advancing the “vision” for a “free and open, connected, prosperous, secure, and resilient” Indo-Pacific region.
The Indo-Pacific region will shape the trajectory of the global economy in the 21st century. It is the fastest growing region on the planet, accounting for 60 percent of the world economy and two-thirds of all economic growth over the last five years.
The United States remains a major economic partner in the Indo-Pacific. U.S. companies continue to be the top source of foreign direct investment in the region with nearly US$1 trillion (Php 55 trillion) in US investments, and roughly the same invested in the United States by firms in the region. The United States also remains a major trade partner with more than US$2 trillion in two-way trade. Exports to the region and investments from the Indo-Pacific support almost 4 million U.S. jobs.
“Together with our Philippines co-hosts, we are underscoring our sustained commitment to the region and highlighting the economic ties that have contributed to regional prosperity and interconnectedness,” the US State Department said.
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