FFE Magazine

Philippine rapid growth talk of WEF

23may world economic forum

Despite being hit by consecutive disasters last year, the Philippines still posted strong growth, a feat admired by world leaders who attended last Thursday’s World Economic Forum – East Asia (WEF-EA) in MakatiCity.

 

WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said that the transformation of the Philippines in the last few years was ‘deeply impressive’ and that ‘great potentials’ are underway.

 

Schwab declared ‘Fastest growth rate at 7 %, and let us not forget this is achieved despite [the devastation of the typhoon] last November 2013. It shows the resilience of your country, the resilience of your people.’

 

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono also congratulated President Benigno Aquino and the Philippines for hosting the WEF for the first time, citing that this was proof of the ‘country’s remarkable economic achievements.’

 

Aquino, however, did not take credit for the accomplishments and instead said the growth had been achieved through the collective efforts of the Filipino people, his ‘bosses.’

 

‘The result of our efforts is what you see now: One instilled with a newfound optimism, one that believes in the government’s capacity to help its people, and one that is widely considered to be among the world’s emerging economies,’ said Aquino.

 

President Aquino highlighted the key growth drivers in the Philippines, which includes reforms on corruption, budget integrity, poverty reduction and boosts in tourism. He also mentioned the improvement in the Philippines’ investment grade status.

 

Schwab said that WEF is ready to invest more in the Philippines and the region: ‘I am here to tell you [President Aquino] having participated in some of the sessions, we want to create a real contribution to your country and to the East Asia region.’

 

Other achievements by the Philippines were discussed in the parts of the forum:

 

  • In ‘Philippines: The Next Asian Miracle’, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Junior emphasised that reforms must guarantee sustained growth. He added that thanks to a ‘restoration of faith in the government’, the Philippines is able to do this now.

 

  • In ‘Designing Solutions for Closing the Gender Gap in Leadership,’ the Philippines was lauded for having one of the most gender-equal policies in East Asia.

 

  • In ‘East Asia Economic Outlook’, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said he was confident growth will continue even after Aquino’s term. But that more changes need to happen in infrastructure and efficiency in the financial market.

 

The leaders also talked about territorial conflicts versus China, transparency in government, Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) Integration, climate risks, agricultural transformation, security, connectivity among countries, employment and more.

 

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Myanmar Vice President Nyan Tun were also present in the forum.

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