Presidents Aquino elated over roundtable meeting with top business executives and financial officers from Europe and other countries; says one team is visiting the Philippines to look business opportunities
DAVOS, Switzerland) Upbeat about the success of his roundtable meeting with big businessmen from Europe and senior financial executives from other parts of the world, President Benigno S. Aquino III said that a team of businessmen is visiting the Philippines anytime this year to explore business opportunities particularly in areas they are interested to invest in.
In a Coffee meeting with the media at the Europe Hotel here on Friday (Swiss time), the President said the best meeting he had attended during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting here was the roundtable meeting with global business groups ehich was arranged by the Ayala Corporation.
"We were able to touch base with so many other leaders of various countries like the Dutch Prime Minister," the Chief Executive said.
The President said his meeting with the top businessmen, which, he said, was attended by business representatives from 35 business entities from Europe and other countries, was very successful.
"One of them, wll be sending a team over to investigate possibilities to the Philippines," the President said.
The President noted that some of these businessmen who attended the meeting have been in the country, like the Mitsubishi and Unilever among others.
"Then there are a lot of new entities. There is even an entity that wants to invest in the educational sector, but all of the details will be fleshed out later. But I think, there's a universal consensus both by the participants and by the Cabinet members present and our business sector that it was a very "successful meeting," he stressed.
Meanwhile, Trade and industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, who was also present during the Coffee with the Media, said that the feedback after the the President's roundtable meeting with the chairmen of big companies, CEOs, and other senior executives "was very positive."
"And firms, including very big hedge funds based in the United States already indicated that they will be sending a team. Obviously some of them don't want to be mentioned, so we cannot really mention by name. But they will be sending a team, which is the same thing," Domingo said.
Domingo explained that the team would be coming over within the next few months of this year “to look at the possible investment opportunities."
"Walang specific timetable, but usually when they say something like that, immediate na yan -- just like what we saw in the Middle East as well dati, he added.
Domingo also said that the companies present during the roundtable meeting represented a wide variety of businesses from telecoms to manufacturing, to consumer products, to insurance, banking, education and even IT services among others. PND (rda)
President Aquino calls on Filipino Overseas Workers in Switzerland to unite
ZURICH, Switzerland) President Benigno S. Aquino III called on the members of the Filipino community here to unite and continue to tread the straight path as he moves to implement the various reforms needed to effect the country's march towards progress and development.
The Chief Executive, who arrived here to attend the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum from January 23 to 27, spearheaded the greet-and-meet activity with the Filipino community at the Renaissance Hotel here to personally oversee their condition.
In his speech, the President shared the positive changes and the economic developments back home during the last two and a half years of his administration, including the confidence of the international community in the Philippines, and the stock market's remarkable performance that keeps the country's resiliency despite the global crisis.
The President told members of the Filipino community present during the event that the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has continued to grow despite the global economic crisis. “Alam naman po ninyo na iyan ang pangunahing sukat ng sigla ng ekonomiya ng isang bansa,” he said.
The country’s GDP has expanded by 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2012. The stock market index also posted record highs 70 times. “Tinalo po natin pati ang sariling mga projection. Sunod-sunod ang record-high sa ating Philippine Stock Exchange index,” he said.
“Sa katunayan, mula June 30, 2010, kung kailan po tayo nag-umpisang manungkulan, umabot na sa pitumpung beses ng nabasag ang record po ng ating stock exchange.”
The President expressed hope that the stock market index will reach the 6,500 level by next month, particularly on his birthday, and the 7,000 level by year-end. “Palagay ko, hindi pa naman ito nasisira sa atin, mukhang malaki ang pag-asang mangyari po ‘yan,” he said.
The President also cited the confidence of the international community in the Philippines as evidenced by the influx of investors who have already expressed their interest to invest in the country.
“Naaalala ko nga po dati, sa panahon ng aking ina: naisama po ako sa ilang biyahe po niya, nagpunta po ako sa Japan, at halos nagmamakaawa tayong magtayo sila ng negosyo sa Pilipinas. Pero ngayon po, tayo na ang pinipilahan," he stressed.
“Gusto po nilang makisakay sa momentum ng pag-angat ng ating ekonomiya. At hindi po sa iisang sektor ito --mula sa edukasyon, sa imprastruktura, hanggang sa information technology, iisa ang bukambibig ng mga malalaking kumpanya --'Sali naman kami diyan,'” he added.
President Aquino likewise mentioned the reforms in the judiciary, and the signing of the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
“Ipinakita natin sa buong mundo ang bisa ng isang mapayapang diyalogo; higit pa rito, inilalapit natin ang Mindanao, ang naturingang Land of Promise, sa pangako ng kapayapaan at kasaganahan, na matagal na niyang inaasam,” he said.
During his speech, The President called on Filipino overseas workers for a continued support.
“Nasa kamay muli ng Pilipino ang manibela --itutuloy ko ba ang paglalakbay sa tuwid na daan? O pipiliin ko bang mag-U-turn pabalik sa kalsada ng katiwalian at kahirapan? Mahalaga pong ipaalala --ang pagsisikap ng bawat isa ay magsisilbing gasolina sa matiwasay na pagtakbo at tuluyang pag-arangkada ng ating bansa,” he said.
“Kaya nga po, karaniwang tao man o kasama natin sa paglilingkod-bayan, nasa Pilipinas man, o dito sa Zurich, saan man pong sulok ng mundo –bawat brasong nakikisagwan, bawat balikat na nakikipasan, bawat kakamping sumasagupa sa lumang sistema upang itawid ang ating reporma–kayo po, kayo ang gumagawa ng pagbabago, at hinihiling ko ang patuloy pa ninyong pakiki-ambag. Pasulong po ang ating martsa sa tuwid na landas; wala pong atrasan ito; huwag tayong pumayag na dumulas pang pabalik sa dating kalakaran,” he said.
President Aquino noted that with his move to keep the country toward a straight path, the Philippines has indeed changed. “Wala na nga po sigurong dudang nagbago na talaga ang Pilipinas,” he said.
“Kung dati po, ang tinatanong sa inyo kung bibisita kayo sa atin, 'Paano ka nakaalis? Anong mga hakbang ang ginawa ninyo para makatakas?' Ngayon po, ang malamang itanong sa inyo kung kayo’y makakauwi: 'Kailan kayo uuwi ng permanente?" Tunay nga pong kay sarap maging Pilipino sa mga panahong ito,” he said.
In closing, the President thanked the Filipino community of Switzerland for their warm welcome despite the cold weather. “Kahit ano pang kapal ng ating isuot, wala pa rin pong hihigit sa init ng pagsalubong ng mga kababayan nating Pilipino,” he said.
“Kaya naman po, maraming salamat ulit sa pagyakap ninyo sa amin ngayong hapon; talaga pong napaka-warm ng welcome po ninyo, talagang napapawi ang ginaw at pagod ng buo nating delegasyon,” he concluded. PND (co)
Aquino accepts donation from Filipino community in Switzerland for victims of Typhoon Pablo
ZURICH, Switzerland) President Benigno S. Aquino III thanked the Filipino community from Switzerland and Lichtenstein for extending aid to victims of Typhoon Pablo in Mindanao.
An initial check worth 8,650 Swiss francs was turned over to the President during his meeting with the Filipino community here.
"Marami pong nag-donate ng konting halaga para sa mga biktima ng bagyong Pablo na tumalasa sa ating bansa noong nakaraang buwan. Noong nalaman po nilang darating kayo dito sa Switzerland, ninais po naming magbigay pa ulit ng kaunti pang tulong," Ambassador to Switzerland Leslie Baja said in his remarks.
The initial donation, however, was increased to 9,050 Swiss francs.
During his speech, the President lauded the members of the Filipino community for their donation. “Lampas po sa halaga na ipinagkaloob niyo sa ating mga kapatid na nabiktima ng Bagyong Pablo, talaga naman pong napapadama niyo sa kanila na hindi sila nag-iisa,” President Aquino said.
The President said that the donation is the best present that they could give to the Filipinos in the country. “‘Yun po ang talagang napakagandang ipapasalubong natin sa buong Pilipinas,” he said.
President Aquino met with the Filipino communities in Switzerland and Lichtenstein before his return to Manila following his successful participation to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. PND (co)
President Aquino back from Davos, Switzerland
President Benigno S. Aquino III arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 on Sunday, fresh from his successful attendance to the World Economic Forum that was held in Davos, Switzerland from January 23 to 26.
The President’s chartered Philippine Air Lines flight PR001 touched down at the NAIA tarmac at around 2:20 in the afternoon and subsequently docked at the international flight arrival gate of Terminal 2 some five minutes later.
Welcoming the President back were Vice President Jejomar Binay and Cabinet members led by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.
In his speech, the President expressed gladness at coming back to the warmer climate of the Philippines, saying the last time he had ever experienced below zero temperatures was 30 years ago.
“Biruin po ninyo, mahigit tatlumpung taon na mula nang huli akong nakaranas ng winter, at talaga namang halos hindi makilala ang ating buong delegasyon sa sobrang pagkakabalot dahil sa ginaw. Siguro po ay matagal-tagal muling mapapahinga sa loob ng aparador ang guwantes, scarf, at overcoat na binaon natin sa ating pagbiyahe,” the President said.
He then mentioned the achievements of his trip such as meeting with WEF founder and chief Professor Klaus Schwab and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, keynoting the anti-corruption forum where he detailed programs to end corruption the country has adapted and inviting international business leaders meeting to invest in the Philippines.
“Dito po, nakita natin na napakarami talagang gustong sumakay sa pag-arangkada ng ating ekonomiya. Saksi po sila—Hindi tayo napako sa mga pangakong hatid ng agenda ng reporma. Ang mga kumpanyang matagal nang narito, ay magpapalawak ng kanilang operasyon, at niyaya ang mga kumpanyang Pilipinong sumali sa joint venture, hindi lang sa Pilipinas, kundi pati na rin sa ibang bansa,” the President said.
“Hindi rin po nagkulang ang mga bagong kumpanyang nagpahayag ng interes tumungo sa Pilipinas upang humanap ng angkop na negosyo. Pinuri po nilang lahat ang pangmatagalang istratehiya natin ng pamumuhunan sa ating mamamayan-- sa pamamagitan ng edukasyon, kalusugan, at iba pang serbisyong panlipunan. Mula po sa mga kumpanyang nakatutok sa edukasyon at imprastruktura, hanggang sa retail at information technology, at marami pang iba-- lahat sila, pumipila at nakikipag-ugnayan na sa atin; nakikita nila ang bagong mukha ng Pilipinas, at nagugustuhan nila ito,” he added.
The President also mentioned the warm welcome he and his delegation received from the overseas Filipino workers from Switzerland and nearby Lichtenstein whom he said embodied the true spirit of “bayanihan” and selflessness for other Filipinos.
“Ang ikinatutuwa ko nga po, saan mang panig ng mundo man tayo mapadpad, ganoon pa rin ang ipinapakitang mabubuting katangian ng Pilipino: Palaging may handang ngiti, palaging nag-uumapaw sa malasakit ang puso, at palaging handang makipag-bayanihan upang iangat ang kanilang kapwa,” the President said.
He pointed out that trips to other countries such as this and getting to meet fellow Filipinos always remind him of the potential of the Filipino to rise above and get ahead in life.
“Tunay nga po—sa tuwing dadayo ako sa ibang bansa, napapa-alalahanan ako sa matayog na potensyal at kapasidad ng Pilipino. Ilagay mo lang ang Pinoy sa tamang kundisyon, bigyan mo lang tayo ng pagkakataon, kaya nating umangat, kaya nating umasenso,” the President said.
“At ngayon nga po, nakikita na ng lahat, pinapatunayan na natin sa buong mundo—Hindi tayo mabibigo, handa tayong humarap sa anumang hamon, taas-noo nating isusulong ang ating mga sarili dito sa landas ng pagbabago,” he added. PND (rck)