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PIA Press Release

Departure Statement of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on her working visit to Hong Kong

Manila, March 30, 2008

Our trip to Hong Kong is dedicated to meeting with our strong OFW contingent in Hong Kong and to meet with business leaders to encourage them to continue to make strong investments in the Philippines.

At a time when the Philippine economy is at its strongest in over 30 years, it is imperative that we stay focused on continuing to strengthen our economy through aggressive outreach to investors and to enhance our cooperation with governments in the region like Hong Kong.

As a result of our economic program in the Philippines, we have diversified our economy, built up our foreign reserves, stimulated a surge of foreign investment and made heavy government investments in human and physical infrastructure. We have done all this while having the strongest balance sheet in a generation, including being on the verge of a balanced budget.

One central component of our economic plan has been steady and consistent investment by my government in strengthening our regional political and economic engagement.

Taken together, all of these efforts - our economic plan at home and our foreign engagement abroad - have helped prepare us for the global economic forces that are affecting the Philippines today.

We are speaking about global forces outside our control that includes a major economic slowdown in North America, a historic spike in the price of oil and a near crippling spike in the price of rice.

Our trip to Hong Kong is another action we are taking to continue to bolster our economy through more investments and to confer with vital business and government leaders on cooperative steps we can take to cushion ourselves in Asia against these global issues. We are also taking the opportunity to meet with our precious OFWs and introduce a series of programs we are taking to mitigate the strengthening of the peso against the dollar.

The fact that I have been asked to deliver the keynote address at the Asia Investment Conference in Hong Kong to over a thousand investors and fund managers underscores the interest the outside world has in the growing stability and economic fortunes of the Philippines.

I am proud to once again carry the banner of our nation and lead the charge for even more investments in our great nation. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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