Romualdez: PH can lure investments at WEF despite possible global slowdown
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. can attract investments at the World Economic Forum (WEF) by dangling the strong economic standing of the Philippines and Southeast Asia even with fears of a possible global economic slowdown, House of Representatives Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said on Tuesday.
In a statement, Romualdez said the Philippine delegation remains bullish about the economy’s growth for 2023 — the first full year that the country operates on a Marcos administration-crafted budget.
Romualdez said Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno highlighted this in a luncheon hosted for Marcos’ delegation in Davos, Switzerland.
“President Marcos’ participation in the Davos meet this year is timely as favorable economic forecasts for both the Philippines and the Asean would serve him in good stead in his effort to secure more investments to allow our country to shake off the effects of the pandemic and protect us from global headwinds,” Romualdez said.
Romualdez based his assessment of a global economic slowdown on a Jan 14 article by Jo-Ok Lee, head of the Regional Agenda for the Asia Pacific region at the WEF, who noted that Asean is one of the few bright spots.
The House leader said the global slowdown would have some effects on the Asean-six —Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Despite this, the article said the Philippines and Malaysia could potentially be the top two countries in the region. Considering all these, Romualdez said the conditions should bode well for Marcos’ bid to take home pledges and investments at the WEF.
“Taken together, these factors make a compelling case to showcase the Philippines as an investment hub during President Marcos’ interaction with global industry and government leaders at the World Economic Forum,” said Romualdez, who is in Davos also as part of Marcos’ delegation.
He said that aside from Cabinet members, seven of the country’s top businesspeople are also in Davos as part of the delegation. The House leader added that according to the President, the biggest deals are accomplished on the sidelines of the WEF, where world leaders discuss possible partnerships.
Marcos is scheduled to attend the Philippines Country Strategy Dialog with the economic team, as well as separate bilateral meetings with Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and with officials of other multinational companies.
Later in the day, Marcos and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos will join WEF founder and Chair Dr. Klaus Schwab and his wife Hilde in a private dinner.
It was Schwab who invited Marcos to attend the WEF, through Romualdez.
On Monday, Romualdez said he is confident that Marcos can use the WEF to introduce and explain to the world how the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) — the country’s first, if enacted, sovereign wealth fund — would operate.
According to the speaker, Marcos can articulate to world leaders and businesspeople attending the WEF annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland how the Philippines would emerge as an investment hub once the sovereign wealth fund is passed by Congress and eventually enacted.
Marcos in an interview with reporters while en route to Davos said that he plans to put the spotlight in the country as an investment destination at the WEF.
READ: Romualdez confident Marcos can use Davos forum to present, explain Maharlika fund
READ: Marcos to drum up global investor interest in PH at Davos meet
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