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Marcos back in Philippines after 'crucial participation' in WEF

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. returned to Manila on Saturday after attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"I am pleased with the progress we have made during our crucial participation in the World Economic Forum (WEF), a truly global multi-stakeholder platform," he said in a speech at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

Marcos said that the trip has yielded beneficial outcomes relative to new trade and investment opportunities, key partnerships forged to support our development program, a better appreciation for Filipino workers and professionals, and the promise of increased cooperation with various countries around the world.

"Our WEF engagement has enabled the many leaders and experts in government, business, civil organizations, and the academe that were in attendance to receive the good news that the Philippines is leading economic recovery and performance not only in the Asia-Pacific but also in the whole world," he said.

"We shared our insight and experience in being resilient, hardworking people – uniting in adversity and looking out for each other in [times of] crisis. And for this, I thank you," he added.

Marcos also shared the country’s work across trade and investment, monetary and fiscal policies, food and energy security, climate action, structural reforms, digitalization, public-private partnerships, health and nutrition, education, and other social services.

"I highlighted this administration’s policies, including the Philippine Development Plan, the 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda, and various other policies and legislation that spotlight the economic reforms of the Philippines that have led to our sustained growth, even post COVID-19 and amidst the current global economic downturn," he said.

He discussed the country’s budget, strategies, policies, programs, and projects for climate-resilient infrastructure and the administration's "Build, Better, More," as well as the active policies toward public-private partnerships and other forms of collaboration in infrastructure, noting that "all this work is toward the fulfillment of a resilient, inclusive, and sustainable infrastructure ecosystem for the Philippines."

Marcos also said he took the opportunity "to consult with our friends and partners in Davos on the sovereign wealth fund as a means for us to diversify our income sources, and to generate various welfare effects for the Filipino people."

"And that discussion about the sovereign wealth fund, the Maharlika Fund, was an interactive one wherein not only did we present our ideas on what the fund should look like, but we asked them [what they thought] would be most advantageous for the Philippines so as to allow the potential investments that you are thinking about bringing into the Philippines and how the fund would be best designed to service that investment," he said.

The President said he also met with WEF founder and chairman emeritus Klaus Schwab to discuss partnerships and collaboration to help the Philippines sustain equitable and inclusive growth and provide a better quality of life for Filipinos.

Marcos also talked with World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, World Bank Managing Director for Operations Axel Van Trotsenburg, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to align and agree to push for common priorities and support the multilateral trading system to benefit all.

"The process that we undertook really in Davos was not simply to highlight the new situation, the new economic situation, the new policies, and the new concepts that we are promoting in the Philippines today, but also to learn from the world leaders and the world economic leaders what part the Philippines can play in this fragmented world," he said.

"That was the main theme in this entire forum, how do we bring back cooperation in a fragmented world, and we are seen to play a part in that, especially as a member state of ASEAN and as a leading economy in Asia," he added.

Marcos said the business meetings held promise for new investments in many of the country’s economic sectors, including mining and processing, digital solutions, logistics, telecommunications, and renewable fuels.

"We now will be working to consolidate and develop these contacts and discussions that we have begun. The measure of success will be how much of this we can bring to fruition. That process has begun, and we will continue until we see the final results of these endeavors," the President added.  —VBL, GMA Integrated News