THE upcoming World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia that will be held in Manila next week is a good opportunity for the country to showcase its growth achieved over the past few years, particularly to foreign investors who will be participating in the summit.
“It’s always a good time to showcase our gains to foreign investors. In this case, it’s not just leaders in civil society but leaders of [international]companies that can be large companies in the future are here. That’s why we have to make sure that we make the most out of this opportunity,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said during the World Economic Forum pre-summit press conference on Thursday.
According to the WEF, more than 600 participants from 30 countries consisting of heads of state, business, academic and media leaders, global shapers, social entrepreneurs and global growth companies are expected to participate in the summit.
“I think the important fact is that these delegates are here for the first time and it is very important that they will be able recognize the potential of the country and the changes that are going on here,” Purisima said.
According to Purisima, what needs to be highlighted during the summit is the transformation of the Philippines to a growth leader in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) after having been tagged in the past as the “Sick Man of Asia.”
“It’s really driven by the fact that we now have the platform of better and improving governance. We are now tapping the potentials of being the youngest [average age]country in Asia. We are tapping the potential of our location and the beauty that we’ve been blessed to improve tourism,” he said.
Purisima also said that because of improved fiscal space, the government has been able to invest heavily in infrastructure, which is a key factor that foreign businesses consider before investing in a particular country.
“For businesses, they like to spot trends, so they will like to come in early and this is really the time to come in here because we are poised for even higher, faster and more inclusive and equitable growth in the future,” he said.
Scheduled on May 21 to 23, the 23rd World Economic Forum on East Asia will be held at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City. This year’s theme is “Leveraging Growth for Equitable Progress”.
The meeting will serve as an ideal platform for participants to deliberate on the opportunities presented by the Asean Economic Community and to instill more resilient decision-making in the face of unpredictable economic and natural disruptions, the WEF said.