SMEC recently participated in the ADB Business Opportunities Fair (BOF) in Manila, marking a significant return to in-person engagements after the challenges posed by the pandemic in 2020-2022.

As a testament to SMEC’s long-standing relationship with ADB, the company has become one of ADB’s key consulting partners. This enduring partnership underscores SMEC’s commitment to driving sustainable development across Asia and the Pacific.


Unlike the global scope of other International Financial Institutions like the World Bank and IMF, ADB’s focus is regional. Its governance structure is more decentralised, with decision-making authority distributed among member countries. While ADB collaborates with other IFIs, it uniquely serves the diverse economic and social development needs of the Asia-Pacific region.


The BOF provided a platform for consultants, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, and civil society organisations interested in contributing to ADB projects. SMEC sent a distinguished team of representatives, including Corin Mitchell, Resham Dhakal, Norman Walker, Ataulgoni Asif, Mary Joy Trino, and Lara Luis.


Corin Mitchell, ASEAN & Pacific IFI Business Development Director, emphasised the importance of SMEC’s commitment to sustainability and inclusivity, stating, “SMEC’s active engagement in sectors like climate change and sustainable development reflects a commitment to these principles.” Corin highlighted how their participation in the BOF aligns with SMEC’s dedication to addressing climate change and promoting inclusion.


Resham Dhakal, CEO India, echoed the sentiment, underscoring the value SMEC places on understanding specific requirements and contexts. Resham stated, “Our interactions with ADB staff at the BOF have provided valuable insights into ADB’s requirements, aligning with the ADB’s shift towards a more effective approach to member developing countries’ evolving contexts.” He emphasised SMEC’s dedication to aligning with ADB’s transformation and more effective project approaches.


SMEC’s participation yielded several key insights and takeaways, aligning with the broader transformation happening at the ADB and the imperative of addressing climate change, justice in transition, gender equity, and inclusion:

  • Climate change and inclusion: The ADB BOF highlighted the paramount importance of climate change and just transition, emphasising the ‘leave no one behind’ mantra and gender equity. SMEC’s active engagement in sectors like climate change and sustainable development reflects a commitment to these principles.
  • Client-centric transformation: ADB’s New Operating Model, emphasizes a Client-Centric Structure and a focus on capacity building. SMEC’s interactions with ADB staff involved in procurement, consulting, and project management enabled a better understanding ADB’s requirements which aligns with the strategic shift to respond more effectively to evolving geopolitical contexts.
  • Regional focus and global relevance: The ADB investment strategy encompasses an expanding geographic footprint that extends from the Pacific region, through southeast Asia, south Asia, central Asia, and the Caucasus region. SMEC is active across all these sub-regions implementing a mix of infrastructure programs in Water, Transport, and International Development.
  • Value for money approach: The value for money approach, highlighted as crucial for ADB projects, better represents the contexts and environments in which these investments and projects are delivered. SMEC’s strategic approach to project development, based on sector-specific insights gained at the BOF, aligns with this value-driven perspective.


SMEC’s participation in the ADB BOF not only reaffirmed its commitment to sustainable development across Asia and the Pacific but also served as a vehicle for deepening collaboration, gaining sector-specific insights, and fostering connections that resonate with ADB’s ongoing transformation and its broader goals, including addressing climate change and promoting inclusion.