Solaire Resort and Casino, Paranaque City
18 February 2014
President Benigno S. Aquino III updated investors on the country’s continuing economic and financial gains, and its strategy to maintain positive reviews in his attendance at the 3rd Euromoney Philippines Investment Forum in Parañaque City.
According to the President, despite the challenges faced in 2013 which was beset by a stream of disasters such as the Zamboanga siege, Bohol earthquake, Typhoon Yolanda and the previous year’s Typhoon Santi, the country’s economic standing remains strong and is considered as the fastest growing economy in Asia at 7.2 percent, citing the recent Moody’s credit rating and several others.
He also mentioned the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Ranking that placed the country at 59th spot, and the Heritage Foundation’s 2014 Index of Economic Freedom that put the Philippines at 89th place out of 178 countries, bumping up eight notches of improvement from the previous year.
In addition, the Japan External Trade Organization identified the Philippines as the second most profitable among ASEAN-5 countries, trailing only Thailand, which, according to the President, was impressive since we were dead last in 2010.
“These developments are unimpeachable proof: the large-scale turnabout of the Philippine economy is gaining even greater momentum. The days we were called the Sick Man of Asia are becoming a distant memory. Now we are seeing so many international organizations and publications expressing optimism about our future, and they have already referred to us as ‘Asia’s Bright Spot’ or as the ‘New Asian Tiger’,” he said.
President Aquino credited the positive reviews and improved credit ratings on the administration’s good governance efforts. He added that rehabilitation efforts on building back better, following the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda, has dovetailed with the government’s medium and long-term economic plans on its key industries: agriculture, infrastructure, tourism and manufacturing.
“We must cement the reforms we have made, and make certain that we extend our aim of uninterrupted growth — from years, to decades, and hopefully, even to generations,” he said.
In order to preserve its growth, President Aquino assured the investors that he will support economic legislative reforms that will help foster business-friendly environment, enhance human resources through improved education and skills training, and lastly, to boost the self-esteem and morale of the citizenry.
“This is the lasting legacy we want to leave, and this is the legacy we will continue working for: a Filipino people revitalized — who will never again allow any leader to lead them away from the straight path,” he said.
Joining the President were Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Euromoney Chief Executive Officer Tony Shale and Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr.