Nanning, China: Business leaders from China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) expressed support for the economic reforms pursued by President Rodrigo Duterte, lauding his strong leadership style, the head of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said on Sunday.
Ambassador Francis Chua, founding chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Philippines and chairman emeritus of the PCCI, said President Duterte received strong backing from the Asian business leaders present at the opening of the 13th China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) and the 13th China-Asean Business and Investment Summit here.
“You will be surprised; a lot of them was saying that this is the kind of president that every Asean country needs,” Chua told reporters on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the 13th China-Asean Expo (CAEXPO) and the 13th China-Asean Business and Investment Summit here in Nanning, China on Sunday.
Chua said he was only citing what he had heard business leaders during the 13th CAEXPO Supporting Chambers of Commerce Conference and Business Networking held on Saturday.
“They said that the biggest problem in some countries is not having strong enough leaders and that they pray hard for that [kind of]president,” he said.
If President Duterte’s regime succeeds in instituting its socioeconomic reforms, it would be a story that everybody can follow and emulate, Chua said, echoing the sentiment of the business community in the region.
Since Durterte took office and began his administration’s war on drugs, the number of people killed by police and non-police groups has reached nearly 3,000. Although the war on drugs has garnered broad public support domestically, it has earned the ire and the criticism of the international community and family members of the victims over alleged human rights violations.
On the economic side, his 10-point economic agenda aims to translate reforms into inclusive growth.
“There are people who are proud of the President. Some are against, but I am so surprised … all those Asean and … China business leaders are saying that Filipinos are so lucky to have that kind of President … They are so supportive,” Chua said.
The 13th CAEXPO attracted some 450 delegates from the People’s Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the CAEXPO Supporting Chambers of Commerce in the 10 Asean countries, as well as international organizations, institutions, enterprises.