US investors bullish on PH–CuisiaBy Tarra Quismundo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Investors in the United States are upbeat about the Philippine economy and have expressed “strong interest” in doing business here, according to the country’s ambassador to the US following the investment roadshow that brought top Filipino businessmen to three US cities last week.
“The 2nd Investment Roadshow was a great success gauging not only from the turnout of American corporate and government executives but also the strong interest they expressed in investing in the Philippines,” said Ambassador Jose Cuisia in a statement.
Filipino businessmen representing the economy’s “hot sectors” participated in more than five days of an investment roadshow, the second such tour organized by the Philippine mission in Washington, D.C., to woo US and Filipino-American investors.
The roadshow served as a seminar on Philippine investment prospects, with presentations on the state of the Philippine economy and developments in the mining, infrastructure, business process outsourcing and finance sectors.
Some 300 investors attended the roadshows in Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston, a 31 percent increase from last year’s attendance, officials said.
Leo Herrera-Lim, consul general to Chicago, said this year’s investment roadshow was unprecedented, with participants still “raving” about the Philippines a week after the event.
“No one remembers the last time there was a trade and investment roadshow of this kind in the US Midwest … Now, everybody wants to be in the game … Everyone is looking forward not only to the next seminar but to their next trip to the Philippines,” Herrera-Lim said in a statement.
“All the participants were pleased with the presentations of the Philippines’ captains of industries. Now that they know more about the many business opportunities in our country, I am optimistic that the roadshow will lead to increased business transactions between Philippine and American companies, particularly in the US Northeast,” said Mario de Leon, the consul general to New York .
Philippine diplomats in the US said they intend to hold an even bigger roadshow next year, targeting the cities of Houston, Atlanta and Philadelphia to explore opportunities for business linkages in these areas.
“We would like to do it this time in Houston, because it is the oil capital of the US, Atlanta because of its trade relations with Asean (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), and Philadelphia because of the presence of many young Filipino-American professionals there,” said Cuisia.
In next year’s investment tour, Cuisia plans to again bring Philippine corporate executives from the same sectors represented this year, with the additional of the electronics, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
The Philippine delegation in this year’s US investment tour included Benjamin Philip Romualdez, president of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines; Isidro Consunji, president of DMCI Holdings; Roberto Dispo, president of First Metro Investment Corp.; Rainerio Borja, president and country head of EGS Phil.; Dan Lachica, president of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Phil.; and Jesus Zulueta, Jr., chair of ZMG Ward Howell.
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