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PIA Press Release

US-ASEAN business group notes mismatch between reality and perception of RP growth

NEW YORK (via PLDT) (30 September) -- The president of the US-ASEAN Business Council on Thursday expressed befuddlement that public perception in the Philippines does not match reality of the country's economic growth.

Matthew Daley pointed out: "The statistics tell the story: The Philippines is experiencing the highest average economic growth, the greatest job creation, the lowest inflation, and that is a remarkable accomplishment! And this, of course, happened under your leadership," he added, addressing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Daley made the observation during the roundtable discussion of the US-ASEAN Business Council with the President at the Waldorf Astoria Towers. The forum was hosted by Martin Sullivan, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of AIG.

Composed of prominent business leaders, some of whom are listed in Fortune 1000, the US-ASEAN business called on the President to exchange views on business prospects in the Philippines.

Daley told the President that the US-ASEAN Business Council will send a business mission to the Philippine next month to further expand public "access between the Philippines and the American audience" on business and investment realities in the Philippines.

"We will be bringing this mission to Manila in October and we look forward to seeing you and many of your colleagues," Daley told the President.

"I think one of the greatest challenges now is to focus (on public) perception to match with the reality of economic growth," he pointed out.

Daley said the business mission to the Philippine will strive to narrow the gap between public perception and the reality of the Philippines' economic turn-around.

"That is something that we… will work with you and (the Philippine) government in bringing the access between the Philippines… to the American audience, and that we will be bringing this mission to Manila," Daley said.

For his part, Sullivan told the President that the Council remains bullish on the Philippines:

"I thank you (President Arroyo) again for being with us this morning. There are great demands on your time… And I think you could see by the attendance today how the US business community sees the Philippines and its importance – not only individually, but also regionally and in a global scale."

"The President has done an excellent job in running the economy in the Philippines," Sullivan said.

The Philippine economy "has shown tremendous progress under her leadership, and she also recognizes quite clearly the long-standing bilateral relationships between the Philippines and the United States; and I know that she has continued to work very closely with the (US) administration to continue to expand this relationship and a longer dialogue with President Bush," he added.

In a statement, the Council commended the President's leadership, "especially her guidance of the strong Philippines' economy built upon sound and fiscal and monetary policies."

"The Philippines has the fastest yearly progress in economy; smallest increase in the prices; and the most number of new jobs created in the last 20 years," the statement said.

The Council leaders said they discussed their business plans in the Philippines with the President and how these would jibe with her administration's development programs for the country's super-regions.

Based in Washington DC, the US-ASEAN Business Council and its affiliates "are dedicated to strengthening bilateral and US-ASEAN relations, and building strong economic and commercial ties."

The Council members include Fortune 1000 companies noted for their support for the promotion of trade, investment, and technology cooperation, advancing US ASEAN relations through strong participation in public-private partnerships, and committed to development and corporate social responsibility.

The council members are "represented in diverse industries, including aerospace, agribusiness, automobiles, computers and information technology, consumer goods, energy exploration and development, express delivery services, financial services, health care and pharmaceuticals, media and entertainment, mining, software, and telecommunications." (OPS) [top]

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