U.S. Private Sector Shows Commitment to the Philippines

(Manila) A US business delegation from the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US-Philippines Business Council concluded its two day business mission in the Philippines with a strong signal of confidence and support in the country. The mission consisted of 14 representatives from nine companies and was led by Council President Matthew Daley and Robert Driscoll, Senior Vice President of Mirant Corporation and Chairman of US-Philippines Business Council.

"Our mission is a show of commitment by US businesses in the Philippines. The economy is clearly improving and we're here to reaffirm our support and explore policies to enhance the competitiveness of the Philippines", said Matthew Daley.

During the two day mission, delegates met with Ambassador Kristie Kenney, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her economic team comprising of Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, NEDA Director General Romulo Neri, Budget and Management Secretary Rolando Andaya and Deputy Director of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Diwa Guinigundo.

The delegation also met with Senate President Manuel Villar, Senator Ralph Recto and Senator Richard Gordon. A full itinerary of the delegation is attached together with the delegation list.The Arroyo administration has consistently been pursuing reforms. In the first seven months of this year, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas recorded a 60% jump of FDI over the same period of last year. "The purpose of our visit to Manila is to support these reforms and encourage continued progress. Our mission is a timely reaffirmation of the close ties between the US and the Philippines", said mission co-leader Robert Driscoll.

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For 35 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership, more than 160 companies, generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people globally. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.