Manado hosts ASEAN Economic Ministers` Meeting


Economic Ministers from the ten countries in ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) will convene in Manado, capital of North Sulawesi, to attend the annual ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting, held from August 10-14, 2011, disclosed Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu, as reported by Antara News.

The ten ASEAN members are Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. In Manado, they will be joined by their ASEAN dialog partners: Australia, India, South Korea, China, and New Zealand. Also taking part for the first time this year as ASEAN dialog partners are the United States and Russia.

On the agenda for discussions are ASEAN internal issues to include efforts to achieve the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.

ASEAN economic ministers are also expected to discuss the sectors of trade and investments in the region. “The discussion on investment is important because ASEAN is one of the three main investment sources in the region, apart from the European Union and Japan,” said Minister Pangestu.

The meeting will also discuss future plans after the establishment of the AEC and the role of ASEAN in the East Asian region.

As current ASEAN Chair, Indonesia will propose a theme on the inclusive and equitable ASEAN economic development, and present a working framework concerning the agenda on the equitable development.

As this year`s Chair of ASEAN, Indonesia has committed itself to focusing on promoting ASEAN outward and inward significantly. Indonesia`s theme for its chairmanship is “ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations,” wrote Antara.

The city of Manado is growing into an important convention venue in the northern part of Indonesia, since its successful hosting of the World Ocean Conference in May 2009. To host this prestigeous event, the local government had expanded the Sam Ratulangi International Airport and widened the road from the airport to the city, while the private sector raced to build convention facilities and luxury hotels. (see: Manado convention and meeting facilities)

Manado is served by many daily flights by a number of domestic airlines from Jakarta and Makassar. SilkAir flies Singapore-Manado direct, while Garuda Indonesia flies Singapore-Makassar, where passengers can connect with flights to Manado.

While Manado’s main draw is the wonderful Bunaken Marine Park fronting the city, Manado itself is known for its friendly people, delectable cuisine, and beautiful countryside.

For more information on Manado and Bunaken, visit:

Destination Manado
Bunaken: Breathtaking Underwater Life
Photo Essay: The Deep Water Paradise of Kalasey Seas off Manado