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The Philippines hosts World Economic Forum on East Asia

The recent World Economic Forum on East Asia, which was recently held in Manila, has brought more encouragement to investors and entrepreneurs. It was there where regional leaders described the Philippines as ’Asia’s next economic miracle,’ in contrast to their description of the country in the past---as the ’Sick Man of Asia.’
By Christele J. Amoyan and Rae Marrie L. De Mesa |
The Philippines hosts World Economic Forum on East Asia

The year 2013 has been a turning point for the Philippine economy to be on the economic spotlight as it hit 7.2% growth rate. During the World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA), President Benigno S. Aquino III expressed his confidence that the country is consistent with its continuous progress for inclusive, yet sustainable development to every Filipino.

In his speech, the President said, “It is evident that our country is in the midst of a dramatic turnaround in every sector, and we are intent of continuing this trend and making certain that each and every Filipino enjoys the full dividends of progress.”

Furthermore, Pres. Aquino recounted the United Nations projections that in the next 35 years, the Philippines will be in a “demographic sweet spot.” He said that the government’s thrust is to create more strategic investments for education and trainings skills. Thus, he committed to build more infrastructures and regain the manufacturing industries in the country by doubling its spending from P200 billion in the past three years to an estimate of P400 billion this year.

The President is confident of the current administration’s campaign for a more comprehensive and efficient budgeting system. Moreover, he recognized the country’s improved law enforcement against tax evaders and smugglers.

The 23rd World Economic Forum was held from May 21-23, 2014 at the Shang-ri La Hotel in Makati City. The forum was led by President Aquino, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and Myanmar Vice President U Nyan Tun.

Government officials, diplomats, representatives of large companies (such as GE, Shell Plc, Nestle, Hewlett-Packard Company, Mitsubishi Corporation) and organizations (like the United Nations, Asian Development Bank, World Health Organization, International Committee of the Red Cross Development, and the International Organization for Migration) were also present.

With the theme "Leveraging Growth for Equitable Progress,” the forum, served as an avenue for various government officials and business personalities to discuss ideas and strategies on how to achieve inclusive growth in the region. It was also an opportunity to formally meet prior to the ASEAN Economic Integration, which is set to take place in 2015. The security outlook for the continent was also tackled in one of the sessions as well as proposals to have a common market that will have a gross domestic product of roughly $2 trillion.

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