PH winds up US road showBy Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Filipino business chief executive officers (CEOs) have concluded in their United States-wide investment road show an appeal to Americans to take advantage of the “resurging” Philippine economy, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Friday.
The Filipino CEOs of major Philippine companies wrapped up their tour in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 26 by briefing an audience mostly composed of corporate executives, business owners and business school students on the investment and business prospects in the Philippines.
Led by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia Jr. and noted Harvard University economist Dr. Bernardo Villegas, the speakers at the investment road show discussed the growth in key industries in the Philippines, the DFA said.
The department quoted Villegas as saying that the Philippines, recently given upgraded ratings by Fitch Ratings and by Standard & Poor, is a rising economic tiger in Asia that is poised to grow by an average of 7 to 9 percent during the next two decades.
Destination for investments
He said that with a young population composed of about 92 million people who are highly literate and English-speaking, the Philippines is an attractive destination for US investments.
The half-day investment road show was held at the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House, where the Governor of Massachusetts holds office.
The high-caliber speakers included: Philip Romualdez, president, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines for mining; Isidro Consunji, president, DMCI Holdings Inc. for real estate and infrastructure; Roberto Juanchito Dispo, president and director, First Metro Investment Corp. for financial services; Rainero Borja, president and country head, Expert Global Solutions for business process and knowledge process outsourcing;
Dan Lachica, president, Semiconductors and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Inc. for electronic medical devices; Martin Pascual, board director, Pascual Laboratories for pharmaceutical and biotechnology; and Jesus Zulueta, chairman, ZMG Ward Howell for human resources.
Call for gov’t support
Technopreneur, venture capitalist and philanthropist Diosdado “Dado” Banatao, managing partner and founder of Tallwood Venture Capital, based in Silicon Valley, also spoke at the road show. He said the economic growth of the Philippines would accelerate even faster if the government will give strong support for science, technology and engineering and produce more graduates in these fields.
Tom Gradel, acting director of the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment (MOITI), welcomed the road show as a good opportunity for US companies to know more about the Philippines.
About 100 guests coming from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey attended the event.
The DFA quoted Philippine consul general to New York Mario de Leon as saying that “the road show gave compelling reasons why US investors and businessmen should seriously consider doing business in the Philippines now that our country is on the rise.”