Friday, May 11, 2001

The ADB conference,

THE sizzle leading up to the ADB conference quickly deteriorated into fizzle.

Of the more than 300 media representatives who pre-registered to cover the Asian Development Bank conference, nearly half stayed away.

About 100 of those who actually showed up are local.

Of the offshore set, 78 media personnel from 51 organizations in 12 nations, four U.S. states and Washington D.C. are here to cover the ADB.

Their ranks include heavy-hitters such as The Financial Times of London, Dow Jones International, Reuters and Bloomberg.

Korea has the greatest reporting force here, with 18 representatives from 15 media outlets.

Euromoney Institutional Investor plc of London had the biggest institutional presence, with eight staff members from Emerging Markets newspaper and three from Emerging Markets magazine. This team produced a daily "Emerging Markets" publication from headquarters at the Doubletree Alana Waikiki Hotel, and printed it on slick stock at Hagadone Printing Co.

A full-page in-house ad in the May 9 edition describes "Emerging Markets" as "the daily newspaper of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Asian and African Development Banks."

A representative of Dow Jones Newswires, asked if this was his first time in Hawaii, explained that he is from here. Alan Yonan Jr. graduated from Kalani High School and UH Manoa and worked at the old Sun Press with people now on the employee rosters of Honolulu's dailies. Yonan has worked for Dow Jones for at least 11 years, 10 of them in Washington, D.C., and most recently in the Singapore bureau.

He said the ADB's "poverty reduction" mission is of less importance to Dow Jones readers than "the current hot topic, which is currency swapping." He said conferences such as this one give the news service the opportunity to interview finance ministers.

"It's cool being back," he said -- having gone surfing with an old friend at "Brand X" and revisiting local food -- "I ate a loco moco."

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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