US-ASEAN Business Council Brings Its Largest Delegation to the Philippines
From August 9-11, the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) held its 2023 Philippines Business Mission in Metro Manila, where a total of 30 companies participated in a series of in-person dialogues with top officials from the Government of the Philippines. This was the largest delegation to visit the Philippines in US-ABC history. The mission was co-led by Ambassador Ted Osius (ret.), President and CEO of US-ABC and Mr. Stephen Braim, Vice President for Government & Regulatory Affairs, Asia Pacific at IBM and Co-Chair of US-ABC's Philippines Committee.
The various meetings during the mission reinforced the strength and the stability of the Philippine economy and promoted stronger industry partnerships between the Philippine Government and the U.S. private sector. This year’s business mission focused on forging sustainable and transformational partnerships for economic growth, with American companies expressing readiness to support the Philippines’ development efforts. The discussions with local stakeholders presented opportunities for the private sector to pursue active collaborations in the Philippines.
“The Philippines remains an important market for the U.S. private sector, anchored on the country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals, young and competent workforce, and receptiveness to foreign investments.”, said Ambassador Ted Osius. “Both countries will continue to expand cooperation across shared commitments towards inclusive and broad-based growth. Through this business mission, we look forward to deepening our engagements and creating more partnerships with the Government of the Philippines,” he added.
The business mission kicked off with a courtesy call to Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. During the meeting, the delegation committed to more investments in the country, citing the importance of a coherent policy environment in the areas of digital transformation, sustainability, MSME development, healthcare resilience, and infrastructure expansion, among others. The President affirmed the positive momentum in U.S.-Philippines bilateral relations and called for enhanced economic engagements to boost two-way trade and investments.
Following the meeting with the President, the delegation also met with the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines as well as senior officials from key government agencies including: Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Senate, Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Board of Investments (BOI), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), Department of National Defense (DND), Department of Health (DOH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
During the course of the business mission, the delegation discussed a wide range of key priorities in digital transformation, sustainable financing, food security, manufacturing expansion, pandemic preparedness, renewable energy infrastructure, critical minerals, creative economy, and the ease of doing business. Members of the delegation welcomed positive pronouncements from the Philippine Government that underlined the value of private sector contributions to the country’s economic development and post-pandemic recovery.
“Technology is an important tool that can accelerate digital transformation, economic growth, and national competitiveness. The private sector stands ready to support the government in its digital transformation journey, which can improve the delivery of public services and subsequently propel economic inclusion,” said Mr. Stephen Braim of IBM. “We look forward to working closely with the US-ASEAN Business Council in developing continued cooperation with the Philippine Government to ensure that the Philippines remains a competitive market for foreign direct investments,” he added.