What did the country gain from the participation of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland?
Tons of it, if news reports are to go by.
Among the nine companies interested in investing here is Astranis, a US provider of low-orbit satellites used for Internet access. It wants to provide connectivity to areas that are not yet connected through the main telecommunications providers.
Gokul Laroia, chairman for Asia Pacific at Morgan Stanley, a top global investment bank, informed the President that they will set up an office in Manila.
He said the President is on the right track in involving the private sector, especially in developing the country’s infrastructure development, by raising much-needed capital.
Executives of DP World, a Dubai-based multinational logistics company, DP World, is considering setting up an industrial park in Clarkfield, Pampanga.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairperson and CEO, said the logistics company has been developing industrial parks in many countries, such as India and Pakistan, and looking at investing in the Philippines.
Officials from Glencore, a multinational mining company, also met with the President and indicated their willingness to invest in the mining industry.
Here’s Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno speaking: “We’ve accomplished much. We had meetings with various top leaders and businessmen. The purpose was really to sell the country.”
For his part, Socio-Eeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan believes potential investors want to be assured that the country can sustain its economic growth before they can do business in the Philippines.
Senator Mark Villar agrees with the optimistic assessment of the country’s economic prospects, as he is convinced the President’s trip to Switzerland will attract more investments in the country.
“If we secure additional investments, there will be more job opportunities in our country which will pave the way for the further development of our economy.”
Then there’s Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez saying the President did an excellent job at the WEF by driving more investments to the Philippines to boost the momentum of growth and improve the lives of the Filipino people.
The President, he said, was able to clearly convey his strategy for sustained growth and the country’s competitive advantage that would boost investor confidence.
The President said before leaving for Davos that he would conduct a “soft launch” of the Maharlika Investment Fund or the Sovereign Wealth Fund there.
He did as promised, describing the MIF “as one tool among many in our efforts to diversify our financial portfolio, which includes our existing institutions pursuing investment that will generate stable returns, but also welfare effects spanning employment creation, improvement of public service, and a decrease in costs of economic activities.”
All in all, a rich harvest of benefits from Davos that bodes well for the country’s sustained growth in the years ahead.