Aquino beats the big drum in Davos

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President Benigno Aquino III and Prime Minister Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III (left) and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 25.

At his debut visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has pitched to the international investor community the Philippine story of transformation from being a “sick man of Asia” into one dynamic country bucking a global economic downturn.

Aqunio attended a roundtable meeting on January 25 with global business executives where he strongly banged the drum for the Philippines.

“What we offer you today is a Philippines where change has set in. That, perhaps, is the single most compelling reason to come in and invest in our country,” Aquino said. He invited investors to participate in three rapidly growing sectors in the country – agriculture, tourism and infrastructure, but also said he could “not promise a completely risk-free environment”, noting that “any worthwhile endeavor is not without its risks”.

However, he noted that the “sick man of Asia is now revitalised, more dynamic than it ever was in its history, marching toward equitable progress.”

Aquino also met International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde on the sidelines of the forum. The IMF recently upgraded its growth forecasts to 6 per cent in 2013 and 5.5 per cent in 2014 for the Philippines from its earlier forecast of 4.8 per cent growth for both years.

He was also part of a roundtable entitled ‘Resilience in Diversity’ on January 25 (see summary here), where he discussed with Malaysia’s, Prime Minister Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak, Myanmar’s Vice President Nyan Tun, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Kittirat Na-Ranong and Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad topics such as the ASEAN Economic Community, the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership and the territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

Aquino was also debuting in Davos at a time when the Philippines is on the brink of getting a sovereign investment grade rating from major credit rating agencies. Two credit-watchers – Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings – have indicated this much-awaited upgrade will happen soon.

The president also met with top-executives of Volkswagen, Germany’s largest car maker, to discuss investment partnerships in the Philippines, and also talked to big European infrastructure companies that may be interested in helping develop the country’s infrastructure, a sector where the prospects are very bright given the backlog in Philippine infrastructure relative to Southeast Asian peers such as Thailand and Malaysia.

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III (left) and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 25.

At his debut visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has pitched to the international investor community the Philippine story of transformation from being a “sick man of Asia” into one dynamic country bucking a global economic downturn.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

President Benigno Aquino III and Prime Minister Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III (left) and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 25.

At his debut visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has pitched to the international investor community the Philippine story of transformation from being a “sick man of Asia” into one dynamic country bucking a global economic downturn.

Aqunio attended a roundtable meeting on January 25 with global business executives where he strongly banged the drum for the Philippines.

“What we offer you today is a Philippines where change has set in. That, perhaps, is the single most compelling reason to come in and invest in our country,” Aquino said. He invited investors to participate in three rapidly growing sectors in the country – agriculture, tourism and infrastructure, but also said he could “not promise a completely risk-free environment”, noting that “any worthwhile endeavor is not without its risks”.

However, he noted that the “sick man of Asia is now revitalised, more dynamic than it ever was in its history, marching toward equitable progress.”

Aquino also met International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde on the sidelines of the forum. The IMF recently upgraded its growth forecasts to 6 per cent in 2013 and 5.5 per cent in 2014 for the Philippines from its earlier forecast of 4.8 per cent growth for both years.

He was also part of a roundtable entitled ‘Resilience in Diversity’ on January 25 (see summary here), where he discussed with Malaysia’s, Prime Minister Mohd Najib Bin Tun Abdul Razak, Myanmar’s Vice President Nyan Tun, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Kittirat Na-Ranong and Lao Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad topics such as the ASEAN Economic Community, the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership and the territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

Aquino was also debuting in Davos at a time when the Philippines is on the brink of getting a sovereign investment grade rating from major credit rating agencies. Two credit-watchers – Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings – have indicated this much-awaited upgrade will happen soon.

The president also met with top-executives of Volkswagen, Germany’s largest car maker, to discuss investment partnerships in the Philippines, and also talked to big European infrastructure companies that may be interested in helping develop the country’s infrastructure, a sector where the prospects are very bright given the backlog in Philippine infrastructure relative to Southeast Asian peers such as Thailand and Malaysia.

 

 

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