June 17, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Speaker-led delegation to Davos strives to keep WEF message of BBM alive

World Economic Forum (WEF) President Børge Brende (center) and Joo-Ok Lee, head of Regional Agenda, Asia-Pacific – WEF, formally welcome  Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, head of the Philippine delegation, to the 2024 WEF Annual Meeting on Monday afternoon (Switzerland time) at the Congress Center in Davos, Switzerland. In a letter dated 06 October 2023, Brende invited Romualdez to attend this years’ WEF meeting in Davos and leverage the forum to strengthen the standing of the Philippines in the international community and take advantage of opportunities to attract investments and explore collaborations for the benefit of the country and the Filipino people.

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Monday afternoon (Switzerland time) said the Philippine delegation to the 2024 World Economic Forum (WEF) aims to keep burning the message President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. imparted last year: that the Philippines is open for business and it is the best place in the region for foreign investments. 

“We want to reiterate the message so it is not lost. We will repeat the message that the Philippines is open for business, we are strong, and we are united,” Romualdez said during the discussions at the welcome lunch for the Philippine delegation held at Hotel Belvedere in Davos.

WEF head of Business Engagement for the Asia-Pacific Clara Chung, WTO Permanent Representative Ambassador Manuel A.J. Teehankee, Philippine Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation and Principality of Liechtenstein Bernard Faustino Dy, and other affiliates welcomed the Philippine delegation. 

Speaker Romualdez noted, among others, the sound economic fundamentals of the Philippines, which is located in the fastest-growing region in the world today. 

“(We have) great fundamentals: the macro figures are fantastic. We are in the fastest growing region, we are the bright spot amid the global recession that we are suffering from. And within that bright spot, we look at the Philippines as the best country to invest in,” said Speaker Romualdez, head of the Philippine delegation to the 2024 WEF.

According to WEF’s 2024 Chief Economist Outlook, majority of chief economists expect the global economy to weaken over the next year with the most buoyant economic activity still expected in South and East Asia.

Speaker Romualdez noted that the Philippines enjoys a very stable government, with a strong and very popular leader in President Marcos, Jr., who has over four years remaining in his term and pursuing a vision of fostering an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable growth trajectory for a thriving society.

Likewise, Speaker Romualdez highlighted efforts to make the Philippines more investor-friendly, particularly the move to relax the restrictive provisions of the 1987 Constitution. 

He noted that, the Senate which has been previously reluctant to proposals to amend the Constitution has initiated the process to introduce changes to the restrictive economic provisions of the charter. 

On Monday, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 6, “proposing amendments to certain economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution,” saying the

 nation’s economic policy must be reframed under the demands of this increasingly globalized age.

“It would be a welcome development for our trade partners. So this is no longer a concept or a desire, just like the Maharlika (Investment Fund) was. It proves that ‘we walk the talk.’ When we talk about opening up our economy, then we actualize it through acts that are clearly tangible. Again, thanks to the leadership of the Marcos administration,” Romualdez said. 

Moreover, Speaker Romualdez said the Philippines now has an investment vehicle through its sovereign wealth fund, or the Maharlika Investment Fund. 

“And that is our dream that it would not only be one of the newest sovereign wealth fund but hopefully one of the most successful ones, if not the top performer,” Speaker Romualdez said. 

Speaker Romualdez said the Philippine delegation will work to “keep the flames burning” and ensure that the message of President Marcos continues and the presence of the Philippines felt in Davos before the President comes back to WEF next year.

“We are very excited for this because we believe that the Philippines has so much to offer and there is so much for the Philippines to gain from this engagement and we want to make the most of it,” Speaker Romualdez said.

Following the welcome luncheon, Speaker Romualdez was formally welcomed to the Forum by WEF President Borge Brende at the Congress Center in Davos.  The opening day of the WEF culminated with the Crystal Awards rites in the evening and a welcome concert.