Manila hosting WEF on East Asia
The Philippines is hosting the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia for the very first time in May, providing the country with a global platform to showcase a story of economic growth achieved while embracing good governance and anti-corruption policy, a visiting WEF official said Thursday.
Sushant Palakutri Rao, senior director and head of Asia at WEF, said in a briefing that the East Asia Summit to be held on May 21-23 at the Makati Shangri-La, would bring a regional perspective to various global challenges identified during the WEF’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, last month.
He said the upcoming summit would also discuss issues related to the ambitious plan to create by 2015 an integrated Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Economic Community, which will allow easier movement of people, investments, goods and services within the region.
“Because we are in the Philippines for the first time in our over 40-year history in the summit, we are also looking at issues that are relevant to the Philippines,” Rao said.
“We feel the timing to be in the Philippines is superb and that’s linked to the very strong economic performance of the country, given that the Philippines has now become the benchmark for many countries in the world for good governance and tackling corruption,” he said.
Several reports produced by the WEF over the years have identified the Philippines as one of the most improved economies in the last three years based on annual competitiveness rankings, Rao said. He also cited the annual gender equity report where the Philippines consistently ranked on top of its regional peers and the only economy in the global top 10 roster.
At the same time, he said there were many good examples of social entrepreneurship initiatives that could be aptly tied up to the regional conversations.
“We’ve been fortunate over the past years of the East Asia Summit to be in the country which is shaping the story of the region in that particular year, which was very much the case in Myanmar last year and Indonesia in 2011,” Rao said.
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