9th UCLG ASPAC Congress

About the Congress

The Asia and the Pacific region had been confronting multiple and converging crises dubbed as a polycrisis1. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened economic, social, and environmental conditions, and brought greater poverty and social inequalities. There were 273 million reported COVID-19 cases2 from the region’s 4.3 billion population. Economic growth was projected at 4.2 percent this 20233 albeit coupled with volatile food and energy prices resulting from the continued war between Russia and Ukraine that disrupts food and energy supply systems. The region also experienced more droughts, disasters, extreme weather, and fiscal stress due to climate change.  

In the face of this polycrisis, overall progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the region had only reached 14.4 percent in 20224. At the current pace, the Asia-Pacific region will miss the target year of 2030 by several decades unless efforts towards the SDGs are accelerated. Looking at the goals individually, the region made progress on affordable and clean energy (Goal 7), and industry, innovation, and infrastructure (Goal 9). There was an observed reversal of regression on decent work and economic growth (Goal 8), reduced inequalities (Goal 10), and partnership for the goals (Goal 17). However, climate change (Goal 13) continues to regress. 

Despite these challenges, the Asia and the Pacific remains an economically dynamic region driven by China’s recovery and India’s resilient growth5.  The region is expected to contribute around 70% of global growth6, making Asia-Pacific a critical factor in the economic recovery of the world. A competitive workforce is an important driver of economic growth, and two thirds of the Asia-Pacific total population is in the working-age and accounts for more than half of the global labour force7. Leveraging Asia-Pacific’s growth carries much potential in creating more opportunities and building a sustainable future for the people and the world.    

Within this global and regional backdrop, the United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC), the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Cities (CPAFFC), and the Yiwu Municipal People’s Government are co-organising the 9th UCLG ASPC Congress from 13 to 15 November 2023 in Crowne Plaza Yiwu Expo, with the theme “Advancing Balanced Economic Development for Asia and the Pacific.” 


The 9th UCLG ASPAC Congress aims to: 

  1. Emphasise the role of local and regional governments in advancing balanced economic development as part of sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region. 
  2. Strengthen city-to-city cooperation and public-private partnership.
  3. Unveil the new UCLG ASPAC initiatives for enhances cooperation on the global supply a chain and youth engagement in advancing economic development in the region.
  4. Provide network amongst decision makers at the local government levels and other key players, including businesses.
  5. Elect the UCLG ASPAC Governing Body (Presidency, Executive Bureau, and Council) for the term period of 2023-2025.
  6. Conduct the UCLG ASPAC Committee Meetings and Statutory Meetings (the Executive Bureau, Council and General Assembly).

Thematic Areas

  1. Industrial Upgrading (Level Up: Enhancing the Business Environment for Local Economic Development)
  2. Trade Promotion (Link Up: Facilitating B2B Post-COVID)
  3. Youth Entrepreneurship (Top Up: Investing in Human Capital of the Youth)
  4. Child-Friendliness (Rank Up: Shaping Communities for a Child-friendly Future)
  5. Rural Revitalisation (Power Up: Harnessing the Potential of the Rural)


The 9th UCLG ASPAC Congress is open to local and regional government leaders and officials, national government leaders and officials, UN bodies, international organisations, development partners, and relevant stakeholders such as, but not limited to, business, children and youth, migrants, and academia. 

Speakers and Chief Guests

Various city and local government leaders, ministries, experts, and partners are invited to speak and share their experiences, good practices, initiatives, and knowledge.  

It is planned that the Congress will have the honoured attendances of the chief guests namely Secretary General Ban Ki Moon of the United Nations 2007-2016, Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, Minister Tri Rismaharini of the Social Affairs Ministry of the Republic of Indonesia & Former President of UCLG ASPAC 2018-2020, and Former Philippine Vice President Jejomar S. Binay 2010-2016 & UCLG ASPAC Co-President 2004-2010.


The link to the Congress website will be updated in due time.