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Marcos at World Economic Forum: PH seen to grow by 7% in 2023

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. told the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday that the Philippines is expected to post a seven-percent economic growth in 2023 with strong macro-economic fundamentals in place,

In his opening remarks during the Country Strategy Dialogue at the WEF, Marcos cited an International Monetary Fund (IMF) projection for the 2023 global economic growth, which will only be at 2.7 percent, slower than the 3.2 percent posted last year—a significant decrease from six percent in 2021.

“But for the Philippines, we project our economy to grow by around 7.0 percent in 2023," Marcos said.

Marcos said the Philippines' "strong macroeconomic fundamentals, fiscal discipline, structural reforms and liberalization of key sectors instituted over the years have enabled us to withstand the negative shocks caused by the pandemic and succeeding economic downturns and map a route toward a strong recovery.”

“We have seen inflation accelerating globally in recent months… We are mindful that while protectionist policies may be appealing, even necessary in the short term, there will ultimately be no long-term winners," Marcos said.

"We join the call for all governments to unwind any trade restrictions and reinforce our commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) reform," he added.

In relation to this, Marcos said countries need to guarantee that sufficient welfare measures are in place "to cushion the impact of elevated inflationary pressures," especially its effects on the most vulnerable sectors.

The President also stressed the importance of economic and technical cooperation to assist the development of smaller economies and enable their participation, especially those of "small businesses and economic segments with untapped potential in the global economy."

Marcos said the Philippine government also recognizes the importance of digitalization as "a key driver for long-term economic growth and as a tool for economic transformation."

The President, under his administration, has promised to empower and enable micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) so that they could participate in the digital economy.

“We have begun large-scale deployment of digital connectivity across the Philippines to ensure universal connectivity, particularly in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas,” Marcos said.

He also proposed the strengthening of government interventions and public-private partnerships to improve access to employment opportunities.

The President is in Davos, Switzerland to participate in the 2023 WEF.

Part of his delegation were House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

At an open forum also on Tuesday, Marcos touted his government's digitalization initiative to make bureaucracy more efficient in the country, as well as efforts to shield it from cyberattacks.

At the same forum, he also cited the strong presence of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Middle East as a big factor in attracting investors from Arab countries—with Anna Felicia Bajo/NB/KBK, GMA Integrated News