THE international business community hailed the Philippines for leading the economic recovery not only in the Asia-Pacific but in the whole world, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said.
Fresh from his participation in the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, the President asserted over the weekend that “many leaders and experts in government, in business, civil organization and in the academe” were impressed with how the country “is not only driving economic growth” but also initiating measures to help “mend the fissures that have fragmented the world of late and doing our part to avert an economic crisis.”
He attributed this to Filipinos being “a resilient hardworking people — uniting in adversity and looking out for each other in crisis.”
He also gave credit to his administration's economic team composed of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.
Marcos also recognized the close cooperation of Congress in advancing his administration's policies, including the Philippine Development Plan, the 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda, and “various other policies and legislations that spotlight the economic reforms of the Philippines that have led to our sustained growth.”
“I took the opportunity as well to consult with our friends and partners in Davos on the sovereign wealth fund as a means for us to diversify our income source1s, and to generate various welfare effects to the Filipino people, while recognizing that this is a collaborative work with experts and our lawmakers so that its final form is what we intend it to be,” stated the President upon arrival from Switzerland last Saturday.
Marcos said discussions with “dear friends of the Philippines” which include WEF Chairman Emeritus Klaus Schwab, on the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund will mean more revenues for the government.
“That discussion about the sovereign wealth fund, the Maharlika Fund, was an interactive one wherein not only did we present our ideas on what the fund should look like but we asked them what do you think would be most advantageous for the Philippines so as to allow the potential investments that you are thinking about bringing into the Philippines and how the fund would be best designed to service that investment,” he said.
It was because of these initiatives that the country also earned a place in the “VIP Club” in Southeast Asia, Marcos said.
The elite group — Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines — is made up of the best-performing economies in the region.
“The process that we undertook really in Davos was not simply to highlight the new situation, the new economic situation, the new policies, and the new concepts that we are promoting in the Philippines today, but also to learn from the world leaders and the world economic leaders what part the Philippines can play in this fragmented world,” he said.
WEF President Børge Brende earlier hailed the Philippines for a higher gross domestic product (GDP) than fellow member states in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The country posted a 7.5 percent GDP for the last part of 2022, to Vietnam's 8.02 percent and Indonesia's 5.44 percent.
Brende, in his one-on-one with Marcos, described as “incredible” the Philippines' growth amid many issues such as high inflation rate and the impending global recession.
In response, Marcos pointed to the solid partnership of the government and micro, small and medium enterprises which account for a large portion of the economy in the country and most Southeast Asian countries.
While in Switzerland, Marcos also met with World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, World Bank Managing Director for Operations Axel Van Trotsenburg, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and former United Kingdom prime minister Tony Blair.
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