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PIA Press Release
2007/04/13

Gov't remains focused on creating competitive business and trade climate - Bunye

Manila (13 April) -- MALACANANG said today the government, under the tight watch of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, would remain focused on "creating a business and trade climate" that would continue to seal the country’s competitiveness in the world.

Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye made the assurance as the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest pension fund in the United States, raised the Philippines rank to 14th on its latest crucial review.

Bunye said the higher score in a crucial review commissioned by CalPERS is only a manifestation of what the current government has started, referring to the ongoing tight watch and battle against corruption in the public service.

"We are fighting corruption tooth and nail and our efforts are being recognized by the world, hence the rise in confidence and investments," he added.

"We have consistently accepted that corruption continues to be a challenge but it is being acted upon in a decisive way by this government," Bunye said, adding that fighting corruption is important to political stability, which at the end will lead to economic development and prosperity for the Filipino people.

He noted that American investors remain bullish on the Philippines, as proven by CalPERS fund increasing its stake in the country while the members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines plan to pour fresh $3 billion investment for their business expansion this year.

Earlier, CalPERS acknowledged that the Philippines’ bid to attract more investments received a big boost after they gave a higher score in their recent crucial review among 27 emerging markets.

CalPERS had commissioned Wilshire Associates, one of the world’s leading consulting and management firms, to conduct the study and guide the pension fund’s flow of investments to 27 emerging markets.

Wilshire confirmed in its latest review that the Philippines got an average score of "2.13," or 0.13 of a percentage point higher than the "2" threshold rating that Wilshire gave to the country last year.

With this score, the Philippines moved up from a dismal 18th place in the previous study to 14th in ranking among the 27 emerging markets.

For this year, the Philippines scored the second highest rate of improvement in scoring from Wilshire. The Philippines beat other neighboring Asian countries, like Indonesia and Malaysia, which each got a score of "2."

Based on Wilshire’s latest review, the Philippines retained its "1.0" score in the area of political risk, despite political problems hounding the government.

The Philippines also received better scores for its economic policies. For instance, in terms of return-to-risk ratio, the Philippine score improved from just "1" in the previous review to "2.3" in the latest study.

In terms of capital market openness, the Philippine score improved to "1.7" from only "1" in the previous review, the study cited. (PIA-10) [top]

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