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Business meetings, Jollibee visit up for Aquino Wednesday in Singapore

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 12:03 PM November 19, 2014

SINGAPORE- President Benigno Aquino III will undertake a whirlwind of business meetings here Wednesday and cap his two-day visit with lunch at one of two branches of Filipino fastfood chain Jollibee, where he is also expected to engage with the Filipino community.

Aquino did not detail the business talks on his schedule “because we might jinx all the potential investments they may add,” but said top Singaporean firms are on the list.

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These include Temasek Holdings, a global investment company with a $106-billion portfolio, industrial conglomerate Keppel Corporation, and GIC Private Limited, a sovereign wealth fund that has investments in Filipino liquor firm Emperador.

In the afternoon, President Aquino is set to visit the Jollibee branch at Lucky Plaza on Orchard Road, widely known as “the Filipino mall” in Singapore being a favorite among Philippine workers and residents here.

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The Jollibee branch, one of two in the city-state, opened in March 2013 to an excited queue of 35,000 customers, said John Nacional, Jollibee Singapore area manager.

“Of course, we are honored that President Aquino and his delegations have decided to drop by Jollibee Lucky Plaza to see us and together with our Chairman Mr. Tony Tan Caktiong, we are looking forward to welcome him and have a quick store tour maybe and for the President to meet the hardworking Philippine members of Jollibee Singapore,” said Nacional in a statement sent ahead of the President’s visit.

Jollibee Singapore’s manpower was hired in the city in compliance with its hiring policy.

“We are happy to say that 100 percent of our crew and 50 percent of our management were hired here in Singapore. So it’s a mixed of Singaporeans, permanent residents and other residents holding special passes,” Nacional said.

The President made an example of Jollibee in his keynote interview with The Economist at The World in 2015 forum Tuesday night.

“Jollibee started out as an ice cream parlor and it’s now one of our biggest multinationals… I don’t remember exactly how many (branches in other) countries they do have. So there are more and more opportunities that are coming up for very different, a lot of sectors,” Aquino said.

Following his lunch stop, President Aquino and his delegation is scheduled to proceed immediately to the Changi Airport for his departure to Manila. He is expected to land back home at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday.

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