MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.‘s inaugural participation in the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) is a success, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Friday, as he lauded the Chief Executive for presenting well the Philippines’ robust economy.
In an interview in Davos, Switzerland, Diokno described Marcos’ attendance at the WEF activities as “path-breaking.”
“The President successfully pictured to the international community an economy that is fundamentally sound and is expected to have one of the highest growth rates in the Asia-Pacific region, if not the world,” he said.
Marcos, Diokno said, also succeeded in presenting to the international community a “politically stable” country whose leader was popularly elected by a great majority of its voting population, “with a frictionless and smooth transition of power.”
He added that the participation of leading Filipino business leaders in the WEF signifies the strong support of private sector partners.
“The active and enthusiastic participation of the Philippine business leaders in the WEF activities was truly impressive,” Diokno said.
In his one-on-one dialogue with WEF President Børge Brende on Thursday, Marcos expressed confidence that the Philippine economy would grow by or even beyond 6.5 percent in 2023, noting that his administration is focused on strengthening public-private partnerships and boosting the micro, small, and medium enterprises sector.
Also on Thursday, Marcos told participants in the WEF’s High-Level Dialogue on Investing in Infrastructure for Resilience that the Philippine government is also taking a “proactive” approach to boost investors’ confidence.
During the Philippine Country Strategy Dialogue on Tuesday, Marcos touted that the government’s policies and initiatives have paved the way for the Philippines’ economic rebound, allowing its partners and investors to enjoy a more conducive business environment.
Several business tycoons are in Davos, Switzerland to support Marcos’ inaugural participation in WEF. Marcos’ official business sector delegation, called the “Magnificent 7,” consists of Sabin Aboitiz (Aboitiz); Kevin Andrew Tan (Alliance Global); Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (Ayala Group); Lance Gokongwei (JG Summit Holdings); Ramon Ang (San Miguel Corp.); Teresita Sy-Coson (SM Investments); and Enrique Razon (International Container Terminal).
Filipino business tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan, whose portfolio includes telecommunications giants PLDT and Smart, also showed support for Marcos’ attendance at the WEF by showing up at the dinner hosted by the chief executive officers for the President in Davos on Wednesday night.
Aboitiz, president and CEO of the Aboitiz Group and lead convenor of the Private Sector Advisory Council, lauded Marcos’ economic vision for the country, saying it “excites” the private sector.
“So when you have that dual type of respect for each other, it excites people and the President’s belief in the private sector is very strong,” he said. (PNA)