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PIA Press Release

Growth is PGMA's message to UN Assembly

Manila (26 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo would highlight the country's recent economic achievements when she presents the Philippines' country report in her meetings with the United Nations and other international bodies.

This was President Arroyo's departure statement as she left last night (Tuesday, September 25) for a three-day visit to New York where she will attend the United Nations General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative, and meet with leaders of the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the US business and Filipino communities.

President Arroyo said "We have aimed high and have met the challenge: six years ago, no one thought we could get more revenues, cut down on tax cheats, strengthen the peso and move the stock market. And no one thought I could bring our budget into balance, as we did last month, prepay our debts and raise employment, but we have."

The President said the Philippines is now on a path to permanent economic growth and stability as more investments are pouring in, the peso continues to be strong, the stock market is reaching historic heights and jobs are being created.

She said the world is already taking notice that the Philippines offers one of the best values in Asia for domestic and foreign investors as proven by the billion dollar investments from the US' Texas Instruments and AES Corp., Korea's Hanjin and Japan's Marubeni and Tokyo Electric.

She said the administration is committed to sustaining investments and boosting the country's competitiveness by allocating more on human and physical infrastructure through education and training, healthcare, and the upgrading and putting up of more bridges, roads and ports.

President Arroyo said that while the Philippines is not yet ready to compete head-on with all countries, the country must prepare for globalization starting with its participation in the global trading system which she said is a key to alleviating poverty and modernizing the nation.

The Clinton Global Initiative will be held Sept. 26. It was organized in 2005 by President Arroyo's former classmate in Georgetown University, former US president Bill Clinton.

The former US president will moderate the opening plenary that will focus on major challenges of global health, education, poverty alleviation, and energy and climate change.

The panelists will include President Arroyo Arroyo, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. president and chief executive officer H. Lee Scott Jr., South African Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and World Bank Group president Robert B. Zoellick.

The event will be followed by meetings with the Millennium Challenge Corporation and Teletech chairman and chief executive officer Kenneth Tuchman.

President Arroyo after the meetings, will attend the matinee performance of Lea Salonga who is playing the role of Fantine in the Broadway musical Les Miserables, afterwhich she will meeting with Filipino leaders in New York.

On September 27, President Arroyo will attend a media briefing highlighted by by an interview with New York Times business editor Marcus Mabry, to be followed by a roundtable meeting with the US-Association of Southeast Asian Nation Business Council, and a luncheon meeting hosted by AIG president and chief executive officer Martin Sullivan.

On September 28, President Arroyo will attend the 3rd Meeting of the Women Leader's Working Group sponsored by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, present the Philippines' Country Report before the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, and meet with UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon.

She will also meet with the Filipinos working in the UN, visit a book launching on interfaith dialogue and attend a luncheon meeting with Morgan Stanley before flying back to Manila. (PIA 5) [top]

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