Marcos seeks global investor interest for PH in Davos | Global News

Marcos seeks global investor interest for PH in Davos

By: - Business Features Editor / @philbizwatcher
/ 05:15 AM January 17, 2023
Ferdinand Marcos Jr. STORY: Marcos seeks global investor interest for PH in Davos

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. speaks to reporters onboard PR001 en route to Belgium to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-European Union (Asean-EU) Commemorative Summit in Brussels. (File photo by NESTOR CORRALES / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

DAVOS — For the first time in a decade, the Philippines has sent a powerhouse delegation to this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting led by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who wants to show the global community — which is confronting the specter of economic recession, geopolitical conflicts, and climate change — that the country is “open for business” and poised to sustain post-pandemic recovery.

Along with first lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, the 18-member official government delegation to the Jan. 16 to 20 forum in Switzerland includes Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople and Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil.


Other members of the delegation are Foreign Undersecretary Carlos Sorreta, Finance Undersecretary Zeno Ronald Abenoja, Migrant Workers Undersecretary Patricia Yvonne Caunan, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, Senior Deputy Speaker and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Senior Deputy Majority Leader and the President’s son Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos, Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez and Sen. Mark Villar.

Seven business tycoons are also attending the Davos meeting organized by WEF, deemed by many as the private sector representative of the world: Ramon Ang, Sabin Aboitiz, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Lance Gokongwei, Enrique Razon Jr., Teresita Sy-Coson and Kevin Tan.


In a tweet, Diokno said the delegation would take the opportunity “to showcase to government, business and civil society leaders around the world the Philippines’ growth story and our quest towards sustained and inclusive development.”

The country enjoyed more than two decades of uninterrupted economic growth until the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in 2020. Its economy has since partly recovered, growing by 5.7 percent in 2021 and 7.7 percent in the first nine months of 2022.

‘Expand and expound’

President Marcos hopes to put the spotlight on the Philippines as an investment destination and bring home job-creating business deals on the side as he affirmed plans to discuss at the WEF meeting—where political, business and civil society leaders talk about the world’s most pressing problems—his administration’s plan to create a sovereign wealth fund.

“So I will say what exactly has happened, that we are forming a sovereign wealth fund… for big investments in the basic areas such as agriculture, energy, digitalization, climate change,” he told reporters on Sunday onboard the flight to Switzerland.


In his departure speech in Manila, the President had said that he was looking forward to the WEF’s hosting of a Strategy Dialogue for the Philippines, calling it an opportunity to promote the country as a “leader and driver of growth and a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region…”

To be moderated by WEF founder Klaus Schwab, the dialogue would include a five-minute speech from the President, followed by questions from the audience.

“That kind of format will give us a better opportunity to expand and expound on the things that we are doing in the Philippines,” Mr. Marcos said.


But he added that the “pull away” meetings could be just as important. “Sometimes, the best deals are done outside of the forum. In fact, many—I’ll even say, maybe most of the best deals are done informally.”

Aside from a bilateral meeting with International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva, the President will attend a panel on nutrition security, a dialogue on investing in infrastructure and one-on-one talks with WEF president Borge Brende. He is also expected to meet with the Filipino community in Zurich.

The last Philippine head of state to participate in the WEF annual meeting in the skiing resort town of Davos was then President Benigno Aquino III in 2013.


Marcos at WEF to promote PH role in Asia-Pacific

Marcos to ‘soft launch’ Maharlika Wealth fund in 2023 World Economic Forum

Davos will be Marcos’ 8th foreign trip in under 7 months

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TAGS: 2023 World Economic Forum, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Foreign Investments
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