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PIA Press Release
2008/10/28

PGMA's way of strengthening RP fiscal position impresses top US business execs

Manila (28 October) -- Members of a delegation of senior executives from the US-ASEAN Business Council which recently met with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed their appreciation for the measures taken by the President to strengthen the country's fiscal position.

"Our delegation was impressed with the candid and frank discussion we had with President Arroyo... We noted her administration's success in strengthening the Government of the Philippines' fiscal position which allows the government to devote additional resources to the areas of health, education, infrastructure and agriculture," said Marc Mealy, senior director of the Council's Philippines Business Committee.

The delegation, which conducted a three-day mission in the Philippines (Oct. 15-17) included representatives from Coca-Cola, Ford Motors, General Electric, GlaxoSmithKline, Hewlett-Packard, Jhpiego, Johnson & Johnson, Monsanto, Oracle, Pfizer and Unisys. The delegation was co-led by Council vice president William Marmon and Kandy Anand, president of Coca-Cola Philippines and chairman of the Council's US-Philippines Business Committee.

"In today's global economic climate, the breadth of this mission and range of sectors involved send a clear message on the continued commitment of the American business community to growth and development in the Philippines," William Marmon said.

This year's mission came on the eve of a round of bilateral talks between the governments of the United States and the Philippines under the US-Philippines Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). It provided a timely opportunity for American executives to engage Philippine government and business leaders on a number of issues affecting the local business climate and global competitiveness.

The mission themes included the importance of human capital development and the protection of intellectual property rights; attracting foreign direct investment; policies affecting the competitiveness of the Philippines' auto sector; value of investments in health care to economic growth; potential of international-standards-based Information and Computer Technology (ICT) solutions to support national policy reform projects, and economic opportunities for the Philippines in relation to ASEAN regional integration.

During the three-day mission, meetings were held with officials from the US Embassy, Philippines-US Business Council, Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry, American Chamber of Commerce, Business Processing Association of the Philippines, National Competitiveness Council, and the Personnel Management Association.

Meetings were also held with Trade Senior Undersecretary Thomas Aquino; IP Philippines Director-General Adrian Cristobal; and Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran.

The highlight of the mission included a luncheon with President Macapagal-Arroyo and several members of her Cabinet including: Secretary of Trade and Industry Peter Favila, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto Romulo, Secretary of Energy Angelo Reyes, and Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales.

The US-ASEAN Business Council and affiliates are dedicated to strengthening bilateral and US-ASEAN relations and building strong economic and commercial ties.

Members of the Council include Fortune 1000 companies in support of promoting trade, investment, and technology cooperation, advancing US-ASEAN relations through strong participation in public-private partnerships, and committing 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 & entertainment, mining, software, and telecommunications. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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