PGMA underscores importance to RP of global engagement
Manila (22 January) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo underscored anew today the importance of global engagement and a robust foreign policy in achieving her goal of a safe, strong and progressive Philippines.
In her opening statement at the National Economic and Development Authority-National Anti-Poverty Commission-Cabinet Group (NEDA-NAPC-Cabinet) meeting today in Malacanang, the President said strengthening its international relations is a commitment that the Philippines must pursue.
She pointed out that she's embarking on another foreign trip to broaden and deepen the country's security alliances, invite more investors, and ensure that the welfare of the eight million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is protected.
"Global engagement and a robust foreign policy are central pillars of our plan for a safe and strong Philippines. We depart today for Europe and the Middle East to continue to advance the strategic interests of the Philippines and press the need for closer economic, political and social relations between the Philippines and the world," the President said.
In Davos, Switzerland, where she will attend the World Economic Forum (WEF), the President said she will meet with other world leaders who are helping the government work out a permanent peace in Mindanao, as well as Philippine partners in development and the fight against terrorism.
In Switzerland and Dubai, the President said she will promote the Philippines as one of the best places in the region to invest in, and whose economy has attained a level of sustained growth.
"Another central goal of our trip is to continue the relentless promotion of the Philippines as a great place to invest and do business," she said.
She cited the highest growth rate in a generation at 7.1 percent, the lowest unemployment rate, a surge in investments, high job creation, strong peso and a budget coming into balance as some of the key attributes of the country's growing economy.
"For the first time in a generation, the Philippine economy is on the path to sustained economic growth, creating millions of new jobs and billions of new pesos in revenue to invest in our people and our infrastructure to build up our nation," she said.
"Foreign investment is central to that progress," she said, adding that she is proud of her ability to attract more investments in the last seven years.
The President also said that while in Davos, she will meet with the International Board of Advisors, which is composed of some of the world's top business leaders "who help communicate the dynamism and the very positive new environment for business that is being created in our nation."
On her trip to Dubai, the President cited the important role the emirate plays in the flow of global investments and energy resources.
She will also meet top business leaders and push for the welfare of the thousands of Filipinos working in the Gulf region.
"We will continue this engagement in 2008 as we have done throughout my presidency. We need the world and we like to think the world needs us—our hardworking people, our ideal geographic location, and our reliability as a friend and ally," the President added. (OPS) [top]