Economic Development Forum Proceeds Despite Earthquake

A Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) forum with local government leaders from the Philippines, Viet Nam and Cambodia is underway in the Philippine province of Cebu. Although a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Bohol and the Cebu region early Tuesday morning, delegates were able to arrive safely and the event is proceeding.

The forum is part of a federally funded FCM program that provides training and resources to support local economic development. Over the last 18 months, the Association of Cities of Vietnam (ACVN), the National League of Communes and Sangkats of Cambodia (NLC/S) and the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) surveyed and engaged their members to better understand how local government can play a greater role in supporting economic development. Several local governments within the membership of each organization have also begun the implementation of local economic development strategic plans to promote new approaches and new models of community development. The forum is providing a venue for local government representatives from Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines to take stock of what has been learned through the survey and planning activities to date as they prepare to advance the local economic development agenda in their respective countries.

UBCM's Executive Director Gary MacIsaac is one of three Canadian guest speakers at the forum. Although the location for the event is safe, there have been more than a hundred reported deaths and many more injuries across the region. Our thoughts and best wishes are extended to all who are suffering and rebuilding as a result of the earthquake.

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