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Saturday, March 2, 2024

‘WEF crucial to PH growth’

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PBBM cites trade, investment pledges during 5-day trip to Switzerland

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said his participation in the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 in Switzerland yielded beneficial trade and investment opportunities, as well as key partnerships supportive of the country’s development agenda.

REPORT TO THE NATION. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. outlines the benefits of his five-day trip to Switzerland to participate in the World Economic Forum 2023 where he touted the country’s economic growth and led the soft launch of the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund. Alfred Frias

Mr. Marcos, who arrived in Manila Saturday afternoon after a five-day trip to Davos, described his meetings during the WEF 2023 as “crucial” given that the forum is a “truly global multi-stakeholder platform.”

“The trip has yielded beneficial outcomes relative to new trade and investment opportunities, and key partnerships forged to support our development program, a better appreciation for Filipino workers and professionals, and the promise of increased level of cooperation with various countries around the world,” the President said.

He said leaders and experts in government, business, civic organizations, and the academe in attendance received the good news that the Philippines is leading economic recovery and performance in the region.

“The Philippines is not only driving economic growth. We are also helping mend the fissures that have fragmented the world of late and doing our part to avert an economic crisis. We shared our insight and experience in being a resilient hardworking people—uniting in adversity and looking out for each other in crisis,” the President said.

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Mr. Marcos also met with WEF founder and chairman emeritus Klaus Schwab and partnerships and collaboration to help the Philippines sustain equitable and inclusive growth.

Key executives of companies such as DP World, Glencore and Morgan Stanley also met with President Marcos, with at many of them committing new investments in the Philippines.

The sectors with new investment prospects include mining and processing, digital solutions, logistics, telecommunications, and renewable fuel, among others, the President said.

For his part, Speaker Martin Romualdez said the Philippine delegation to the WEF led by President Marcos has successfully showcased the country as a premier investment hub to attendees of the prestigious international conference.

“I think the delegation that came to Davos actually impressed the Davos attendees. It’s obvious that the Philippines is back. We are open for business, we are here listening and we are inviting everyone to see why the Philippines would be the best destination to invest,” he said.

“It goes to show you that the Philippines, being the star of this year especially in this Davos conference, will definitely show the world that not only are we open for business but under the leadership of President Marcos, leading the Filipinos, the best workers in the world are here,” Romualdez added.

Mr. Marcos also brushed aside criticisms that there were too many members of his delegation.

He said the participation of the members of his delegation was needed to seal important deals and strengthen strategic investments and partnerships with key economic leaders, including the chief executive officers (CEOs) of Fortune 100 companies.

“When is the next chance we will get to speak to CEOs of top Fortune 100 companies in the period of two days? So, whoever we get to talk to, the concerned Cabinet secretary must be there to answer any questions or discuss issues,” the President said.

As for the inclusion of several lawmakers, Mr. Marcos said legislation is “an important part of what we are doing.”

“Let’s say you talk to a potential investor who is not impressed with our law, we will be put in an awkward situation. So, at least we have the legislators here who can say, ‘Well, we can do something about it,’ or ‘No, that is important to us that we maintain it,’” the President said.

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