Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Thursday said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is doing a yeoman’s job at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland of driving more investments to the Philippines to boost the momentum of growth and improve the lives of the Filipino people.
In a news statement, Romualdez, who is part of the President’s official delegation to Davos, said the Chief Executive is seizing all opportunities the WEF presented to tell the Philippine success story to the world’s leaders in business and government attending the forum.
“No less than Borge Brende, the President of the WEF, recognized the sustained effort President Marcos displayed in this forum to showcase the Philippines’s remarkable story and outline the path his administration is taking to welcome more foreign investments into our country,” Romualdez noted.
The Speaker was referring to Brende’s comments in his one-on-one dialogue with President Marcos, which is among the key events in the WEF.
“Mr. President Marcos, it’s great to have you here. I know you worked extremely hard today. I think I have seen you already three or four times and I know we have had so many sessions,” Brende said at the outset of their conversation.
The Speaker noted that like other attendees to the WEF, Brende was impressed with the performance of the Philippine economy despite the slowdown in many parts of the world.
“But even more importantly, the President was able to clearly convey his strategy for sustained growth and the peculiar advantages of the Philippines that would engender investor confidence in the realization of such objective,” Romualdez said.
On Tuesday, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told President Marcos during their bilateral meeting that IMF found the Philippines to be an “exceptionally well-performing country” despite the turbulence in the past years.
She expressed the readiness of the IMF to help its member-countries, including the Philippines, in achieving sustainable growth and pushing for economic policies that would benefit more Filipinos.
In his conversation with Brende, President Marcos said among the key factors for growth of the Philippine economy was the creation of jobs, particularly in the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME), which comprise about 99.5 percent of the businesses in the country.
As a result, President Marcos said the unemployment rate now in the Philippines is even lower than it was before the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, unemployment rate in November last year declined to 4.2 percent from 4.5 percent in October 2022, and from 6.5 percent in November 2021, the lowest unemployment rate in 17 years.
Other areas of growth include the Business Process Outsourcing companies that continued operation despite the pandemic, mining, and semi-conductor export, according to the President.
Likewise, President Marcos credited the dollar remittances of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as among the key fuels for growth.
The President also pointed out that the Philippines is blessed with the youngest workforce in Asia, with an average age of 23 and one-half years old, who are well-trained, sophisticated, English-speaking, and equally tech savvy with their counterparts in other countries in the world.
This is the reason, according to President Marcos, why he is confident the Philippines can achieve its target growth rate of 6.5 percent or even surpass it, despite fears of global slowdown.