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15 September 2023, Singapore – Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., was a guest speaker at the 10th Asia Summit organized by the Milken Institute on 13 September 2023 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Singapore. The first sitting Philippine President to address the Asia Summit, President Marcos encouraged the audience, composed of more than 300 business executives, academics, and other key stakeholders from across Asia and around the world, to consider the Philippines as a strategic investment destination. He declared that the Philippines is “open for business” and invited them to join the country in shaping a brighter future for all. 

In his remarks at the event, titled “A Conversation with the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr”, the President shared the transformation of the Philippine economy post-COVID.  Despite high inflation and global market instability, the country’s economy grew by 7.6% in 2022, the fastest rate of growth recorded by the Philippines in almost five (5) decades. President Marcos shared the remarkable resilience of the Philippines in the face of global economic volatility as a result of prudent fiscal management and monetary policy.  President Marcos added that “economic expansion is expected to continue this year with global institutions such as the World Bank and IMF projecting the Philippines to grow around six (6) percent in 2023.” 

The President also highlighted the country’s strength, including large consumer market, liberalized regulatory reforms in public services, retail, renewable energy, and a young, skilled English-speaking workforce. 

“From digital and renewable energy to manufacturing and tourism, we are a nation on the rise, ready to collaborate with partners who see the potential we hold,”President Marcos remarked.  He added that “the Philippines’ tech ecosystem is thriving, marked by a dynamic start-up culture and advancements in e-commerce, fintech, and digital services which flourished especially during the pandemic.”

The Philippines remains an attractive investment destination as it offers incentives, tax breaks, and robust legal frameworks that safeguard the interests of foreign investors.  Intellectual property rights are protected, ensuring that innovation flourishes within our borders.

Regulatory, tax, and legislative reforms to ease business transactions in the country have also been introduced to create a more welcoming and conducive investment atmosphere. He mentioned, as an example,  Republic Act (RA) 11659 or the Public Service Act, which allows full foreign ownership of companies or businesses engaged in renewable energy. The establishment of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) is likewise designed to create new economic developments through strategic investments both domestically and overseas, and support infrastructure through its Build, Better, More Infrastructure Program. “These strong fundamentals of the Philippine economy make the country a good destination for investment”, he stated. 

President Marcos concluded his speech by inviting the audience to collaborate and make the Philippines a partner in their journey and embark on a path “…united in our commitment to economic progress, social inclusion, and sustainable development”.

Following the President’s remarks was a Fireside Chat with Mr. Steven Ciobo, Managing Director, Head of Global Affairs of Stonepeak and former Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment of Australia. where President Marcos further discussed the Philippines’  post-pandemic recovery and new government programs, particularly the  MIF which further piqued the interest of CEOs and business executives present in the Summit.

Shortly after the fireside chat, the Chief Executive then engaged in a closed-door, private roundtable discussion with foreign business executives, Singapore CEOs and high ranking Philippine government officials.

Now on its 10th iteration, the Asia Summit is a prestigious gathering of influential leaders, policymakers, business executives, academics, and other key stakeholders from across Asia and around the world. The Summit serves as a platform for discussing and finding innovative solutions to the most critical economic, social, and geopolitical issues affecting the Asia-Pacific region. The event attracts a diverse range of speakers and attendees, including: high-level government officials, C-suite executives, investors, thought leaders, and influencers.

The Milken Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank that focuses on a wide range of global economic issues, including finance, health, education, and public policy. The organization is known for hosting high-level summits and conferences that bring together leaders from various sectors to discuss and address pressing challenges facing the world.

Watch the video of the Conversations with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. here. (END)

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