Manila Business Forum 2017: Investment Opportunities and Economic Agenda
MANILA – On February 21, US-Philippines Society Directors of the Board took part in the panel discussion with legislative leaders, including Senate President Koko Pimentel, Sen. Grace Poe, and Mindanao Congressman Max Rodriguez, the delegation welcomed assurances that congress would ease restrictions on foreign investment and strengthen a rules-based legal environment for investors. Sen. Pimentel outlined congressional strategy for supporting the Duterte Administration’s ambitious economic agenda and vision for a federal government structure.
Top Philippine economic officials Secretary Dominguez, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, NEDA chief Ernesto Pernia, and Budget head Benjamin Diokno described for the delegation progress achieved over the past eight months in implementing the administration’s ten-point socio-economic plan. Officials projected continued GDP annual growth rates nearing seven percent, highest in East Asia, and underscored the importance of the upcoming appointment of a new Central Bank Governor to steer a consistent course on macro-economic policy. Dominguez was candid in reflecting local concern over uncertainties surrounding President Trump’s economic policies and implications for Asia-Pacific trade relations.
A private sector Business Dialogue, organized with AmCham, MBC, and the Philippines-United States Business Council, provided a platform for American and Filipino executives to assess 2017 bilateral investment opportunities. Former U.S. ambassadors to the Philippines John Negroponte and Thomas Hubbard presented a “View from Washington,” calling for patience as the Trump Administration reaches “cruising altitude” and clarifies trade and strategic policy directions.
Dr. Cielito Habito provided directors with a comprehensive look at prospects and opportunities for doing business in the Philippines. A blue ribbon panel discussion, led by M.V. Pangilinan, Amb. Jose E. B. Antonio and Jose Concepcion, identified sectors ripe for investment and factors underpinning prospects for sustained growth and development.