Preview: US-Philippines Society program in Manila, February 17-18, 2020
17 February 2020
Manila, Philippines – The US-Philippines Society will hold a Board of Directors Meeting and Business Mission in Manila, February 17-19. Leading the U.S. delegation will be Ambassador John F. Maisto, President of US-Philippines Society and Ambassador Thomas C. Hubbard, former ambassador to the Philippines. Co-chair Manuel V. Pangilinan will host the 2020 board meeting program. The Society’s bi-national Board includes business, professional and civic leaders who will convene to assess key topics of importance to both countries in 2020, and explore ways to sustain and broaden bilateral cooperation and private sector relationships.
Centerpiece of the Society’s two-day program is a 2020 Business, Investment, Political Trends, and Global Risks Forum. Presentations include a Trade and Investment Forum, an Election Year Political Outlook from Washington, analysis of Global and Regional Political and Security Risks, the economic impact of the Taal Volcano and the Coronavirus, and an informed perspective on the U.S., China and Regional Power Dynamics.
Delegates will gain insights into developments in bilateral trade relations, identifying new opportunities and challenges. The Society welcomes prospects for lowering trade/investment barriers and enhancing cyber security through the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement process, along with continuing exploration of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement. Delegates look forward to a productive exchange of views with senior government officials on shared regional, bilateral and transnational issues.
Members of the Board look forward to meeting with Foreign Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. to gain a better understanding of the Administration’s foreign policy priorities, including recent developments. Delegates hope to learn more about sectors that can benefit from increased American investment and will encourage Philippine businesses to look at investment opportunities in the U.S. The Society also values the opportunity to gain insights from Philippine legislators, private sector counterparts, and American Ambassador Sung Y. Kim.
The Society acknowledges with gratitude the leadership of Co-chair Manuel V. Pangilinan who will be honored together with Director Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala for work in mobilizing private sector recovery assistance to victims of natural disasters through the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), a strong and continuing partner of the US-Philippines Society. The Society is also grateful for the support and strong engagement of Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose M. Romualdez, who will accompany the delegation and welcome members to Manila.
Delegates will have an opportunity to tour Clark for a first-hand view of the progress underway in transforming that region into a modern transportation and commercial hub.
As an independent, non-partisan, bi-national organization, the Society plays an important role in fostering mutual understanding of the dynamics underpinning the longstanding U.S.-Philippines relationship. According to US-Philippines Society President Ambassador John F. Maisto, “We come to Manila to support and strengthen the modern multi-dimensional 21st century U.S.-Philippines relationship, and to seek advice and support for carrying the Society’s mission forward in a new year and new decade.”
Headquartered in Washington, the Society was launched 2012 with the mission of enhancing and strengthening relations and, simultaneously, raising awareness of today’s Philippines through programs on business, governance, culture, shared history, education, strategic issues, and conflict resolution. The Society’s programs reach policy-makers and opinion-shapers in Washington and beyond, and attract interest from within the growing Filipino-American community. Celebrating its eighth anniversary this year, the Society is recognized as the premier organization promoting Philippines-U.S. relations.
With support from the Starr Foundation, companies and individual Americans, and former Philippine Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., the Society was able to provide more than $2 million to assist victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Donations were channeled to more than a dozen recipient organizations, including the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), the Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF), the PHINMA Foundation, and the BDO Foundation, each connected to the Society’s Board. The Society also raised funds in 2017 to assist families displaced by the terrorist attacks in Marawi City, and it supported efforts by members to respond with in-kind assistance to the urgent needs of those impacted by the Taal Volcano.
At this time of challenge and opportunity for both the Philippines and the United States, regionally and in today’s globalized world, the unique work of the US-Philippines Society joins the energies and talents of Filipinos and Americans who have had long-standing and deep ties. We seek to build and expand on those relationships. We look forward to a fruitful meeting.