President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. expressed confidence on Wednesday (PHL time) that the Philippines could be a "moderately prosperous country" by 2040.
At the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Marcos reiterated that the country remains on track in reaching the upper middle-income status in 2023.
"With steady investment in food [security], public health, education, and other social services, we expect to become a moderately prosperous country by 2040. I am confident that we will achieve this vision," said Marcos.
"Yet no nation stands alone. The achievement of our national ambition requires a global environment that creates conditions that allow all nations, including ours, to thrive in peace. We need the United Nations to continue to work. And we, the Philippines, are determined to be part of that solution," he added.
Marcos is the first leader from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) who delivered a statement at the UNGA's high level general debate.
Food security, economy
When it comes to food security, Marcos — who also sits as the country's Agriculture chief — underscored the need to undertake measures that will ensure a modern and resilient agricultural sector.
This, as he considers food as the "very basis of human security."
"We need to take concrete steps toward a modern and resilient agriculture for food is not just a trade commodity, nor is it just a livelihood, it is an existential imperative and a moral one," Marcos said.
"To attain food self-sufficiency and security, we are providing innovative solutions and financial support to farmers and fisherfolks to adopt new technologies and connect to national and global value supply chains," he added.
The President said he looks forward to forging cooperation with the UN and their partners to improve agricultural productivity and food security.
He also mentioned the need to reinvigorate the world economy as well as the utilization of public and private resources to expand trade, investment and even technology.
"We must use public and private resources to encourage the expansion of trade, investment, and technology transfers to accelerate development. Knowledge and intellectual gains must flow freely to allow those lagging behind to catch up," said the President.
"Sustainable development will be hampered, to the detriment of all, if existing structures in the global economy remain unreformed," he added.
Marcos said his administration would also invest in education to equip people with the tools they need to meet the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
He acknowledged that knowledge and discovery remain the keys to unlock the potential of our dynamic future and that encouraging the young people's curiosity, honing their skills, and protecting their intellectual properties are important investments.
"Investments in education are key, and my administration is prepared to make such investments. The Philippines notes with appreciation the Transforming Education Summit held earlier this week at which these subjects were taken up," Marcos said.
"There is perhaps no greater renewable resource than the creativity and innovation of our young. We understand the value of harnessing our people’s talents by creating a robust and creative economy. We will continue to work with partners in promoting this at the international level," he added.
Marcos departed Manila on Sunday for a working visit to the US and will be back in the Philippines on September 24.