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Stratbase conference to gather top leaders in gov’t, business

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Cabinet secretaries, ambassadors, and top business leaders are expected to attend the Pilipinas Conference 2023, an annual event organized by the think tank Stratbase ADR Institute.

Stratbase president Dindo Manhit said the meeting aims to spark ideas and generate discussions on the pressing issues in Philippine society.

“In its eighth year, Pilipinas Conference 2023 strives to continue the push towards multi-sectoral collaboration and effective policies to address the most urgent social, political, and economic challenges that shape the Philippines and the Indo-Pacific,” Manhit said in a statement.

The convention will be composed of three panels.

The first panel will discuss the economic outlook and strategies for 2024.

Expected to join the group are Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, and Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista.

“We gathered the country’s top economic managers to present their outlook on the Philippine economic landscape. Strategies to strengthen the country’s ties with its most beneficial trading and investment partners, improve its manufacturing sector, promote more investment-led growth, and solidify its role in the global supply chain will also be explored,” Manhit said.

Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga and Undersecretary Carlos Primo David are also expected to attend the conference.

“The environment panel will discuss the pivotal role of harnessing the Philippines’ abundant natural resources in addressing not only traditional economic concerns but also non-traditional security risks stemming from climate change. By strategically tapping into these resources, the Philippines can bolster its resilience in the face of climate-related challenges, facilitate a seamless transition towards renewable energy sources, and empower local communities to build climate resilience, all while laying the foundation for enduring economic prosperity,” Manhit explained.

The second panel will look into the strategic cooperation and robust economic architecture in the Philippines and in the Indo-Pacific.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Hae Kyong Yu, British Ambassador Laure Beaufils, Delegation of the European Union Ambassador Luc Veron, Canadian Ambassador David Hartman, and United States Ambassador MaryKay Carlson, who will be represented by the US Deputy Chief of Mission in the Philippines, will join this panel, Manhit said.

“Members of the diplomatic community in the Philippines will discuss how the geopolitical shifts in the region have pushed like-minded states to shift their foreign and security policy to the Indo-Pacific.

States have also deployed strategic cooperation against aggressive actions of antagonistic and coercive states that seek to undermine the security and economic landscape of the Indo-Pacific,” he added.

The third panel will feature corporate leaders who will discuss the contributions of the private sector in the country’s economic development.

Among those expected to attend the the session are Ayala Corporation chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation president and CEO Cezar Consing, International Container Terminal Services, Incorporated’s executive vice president and global corporate head Christian Gonzalez, Acciona S.A regional director of infrastructure in Southeast Asia Ruben Camba, Insular Life executive chairperson Nina Aguas, and Microsoft Philippines chief executive officer Peter Maquera.

“This corporate leaders’ dialogue will feature the country’s top business leaders to share how their organizations contribute to national prosperity through job creation and higher productivity. This panel forms part of the Institute’s quarterly business roundtable discussions,” Manhit said.

The conference will be streamed live via Zoom and on Stratbase’s Facebook page on Nov. 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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