Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
28 February 2014

“It is with great confidence that I tell you, the Philippines is where your next success lies,” said President Benigno S. Aquino III to potential Malaysian investors during the Business Opportunities Forum in Kuala Lumpur.

President Aquino told the Malaysian business community that the transformation of the Philippine government reaped positive outcome in terms of business investments that redound to economic development and further resulted to employment opportunities and empowered consumer capacity.

The President proudly stated that the country received positive evaluation from several international reports. “The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report shows a 26-place jump in the Philippines’ rankings over the span of the last three years – from 85th in 2010 to 59th in 2013. The World Bank and International Finance Corporation’s latest Ease of Doing Business Report records a 30-place jump in our rankings in the span of only a year: from 138th place last year to 108th in the report released in 2013. The Corruption Perception Index, prepared by Transparency International, likewise reflects vast improvement for my country: From a ranking of 134th in 2010, the Philippines is now at 94th place, a 40-rank leap,” he said.

He also mentioned that the Philippines had been awarded with investment grade for the first time in history by three major credit rating agencies namely Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s.

President Aquino also told the investors that United Nations and Ernst & Young projected the Philippines will enter the demographic sweet spot by 2015 and growth sweet spot in 2019, respectively. These projections mean that majority of the Filipino population will reach the working age and will thus result to an increased purchasing power and productive workforce.

With all the developments happening in the country, the Chief Executive encouraged the Malaysian businessmen to visit Philippines and see for themselves the endless business opportunities that the country has to offer. He noted, “As potential investors, you have the option of exploring different sectors from manufacturing, to tourism, to agriculture.” He particularly urged them to take a look into investing in the more peaceful and secured Mindanao region.

“The Philippines, once the laggard of Asia, is now entering to a sustainable cycle of empowerment and opportunity, and trajectory of growth where no one is left behind. Please do join us in this journey,” President Aquino said in ending.

* * *