President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday (PHL time) presented his administration's plan to boost the country's economy during the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Economic Forum.
Marcos discussed the country’s overall situation in economic fundamentals and his plans to strengthen them, according to a report by Ivan Mayrina on GMA News' Unang Balita on Tuesday.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr speaks before the New York Stock Exchange Economic Forum. Among those in attendance are Philippines and US based business leaders.— ivan mayrina (@ivanmayrina) September 19, 2022
The President will also ring the closing bell in today’s trading. @gmanews pic.twitter.com/0jvL9TZOrp
He also presented the steps that would improve businesses in the country including laws such as the 100% foreign ownership in telcos, lower corporate tax, and lower capital requirements.
Pres Marcos talks to John Tuttle, vice chair of NYSE, about further liberalizing the economy with legislation such as lower corporate tax rates, reduced paid up capital for foreign retailers and startups, and full foreign ownership in telco, shipping, among others.@gmanews pic.twitter.com/fyIh8vAJE1— ivan mayrina (@ivanmayrina) September 19, 2022
Asked why investors should consider the Philippines, Marcos said the Filipino workforce is the strongest asset of the country.
Marcos told investors that the Philippines offers "high-quality labor, a large consumer market, and a wide range of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives."
"When I’m asked why do you have such a bright view of the future? And my answer is always that there are 110 million Filipinos that are working towards the same goal and that I still believe our workforce is still our greatest asset," said Marcos.
The asset of the Philippine workforce could be seen through the overseas Filipino workers and the level of training in the workforce, according to the President.
"And it is something that we have seen succeed first of all with our overseas Filipino workers but also in the development of the more sophisticated businesses that have come to the country. And highly technical, highly — requiring technical proficiency, requiring good training in schools… We will still continue to try and improve the education system in terms of the technical side — the technical side of our workforce’s training," he said.
Marcos said the Philippines is seeking partnerships in various areas including public infrastructure, such as mass transit systems, airports, toll roads; public services; digitalization initiatives; energy development agenda; modernization of agriculture; and in programs aimed at strengthening other industries.
"For American businesses, we offer investment opportunities in areas such as information technology and business process management or IT-BPM; medical products and devices; electric vehicles and batteries; agribusiness; and telecommunications infrastructure and services," Marcos said.
As the country is bouncing back from the ill effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marcos said the Philippine economy has already seen robust growth since 2021 and "has returned to its path toward upper-middle-income country status, achievable, we believe, within the next few years."
"Against this backdrop, we have increased the scope for mutually beneficial investments that would mean more jobs and a better quality of life for Filipinos. For investors, doing business in the Philippines is an opportunity to reap the benefits of a vibrant economy," Marcos said.
On the importance of relations between the United States and the Philippines, Marcos said it would be hard to see the future of the Philippines without the US.
He mentioned that whenever the Philippines is in crisis, it looks to its relations with the United States.
"We look to the relationship that has been forged over the many years and I have to say the reason that we have done that is that for the most part we can say that the United States has not failed us," he said.
"That sentiment remains in our young men and women. That sentiment remains and will I think be further fostered if we are able to show some successes at least immediately — we show some immediate successes in this partnership," Marcos added.
After the NYSE Economic Forum, Marcos went to the trading floor of the NYSE where the Philippine flag was on display on digital billboards.
The Philippine Flag on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. pic.twitter.com/evw2tujZuO— ivan mayrina (@ivanmayrina) September 19, 2022
At 4 p.m., Marcos led the ringing of the closing bell at the NYSE.
Today’s closing bell at the NYSE. pic.twitter.com/ePfbekCwa7— ivan mayrina (@ivanmayrina) September 19, 2022
This was the second day of Marcos’ working visit in the US.
Aside from Cabinet members, Philippine business leaders also attended the forum led by the chairperson of the Private Sector Advisory Council Sabin Aboitiz, the CEO of Aboitiz Group.
Also present at the event were Jaime Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Corporation, Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corporation, and Lance Gokongwei of Cebu Pacific.
Aboitiz said it was a great opportunity for the Philippine delegation to speak at the “financial center of the universe”.
According to him, the private sector supports Marcos in his plan to open up the country's economy.
He also assured US-based investors that the Philippine economy has a huge potential and encouraged them to invest in the country.
“We live in uncertain times, but in our corner of the world, the Philippines remains one of Asia’s fastest growing economies,” Aboitiz said.
“And with the pandemic now largely out of the way, we are back on that fast track, accelerating out of recovery mode and onto the promising possibilities of the future. Now more than ever, with the dawn of a new era of digital progress, and an environment that has never been more enabling and conducive for business, the Philippines is ripe and open for investment," he added.
On Wednesday, September 20, Marcos is set to speak at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly also in New York. —KG, GMA News