US-ASEAN Business Council Mourns the Loss of former President of the Philippines, Fidel V. Ramos

(Washington, DC) The Board of Directors, members, and staff of the US-ASEAN Business Council mourn the loss of an elder statesman and enduring ally for U.S.-Philippines and U.S.-ASEAN relations, President Fidel V. Ramos. The first President elected under the 1987 Philippine Constitution, President Ramos strengthened democratic institutions by ensuring the supremacy of civilian authority over the military, and he helped usher a new era of prosperity for the Philippines.

He pushed for economic reforms, including the liberalization of the telecommunications sector and steered the country out of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. A graduate of West Point and a friend of the United States, he kept the U.S.-Philippines alliance strong through the negotiation of the Visiting Forces Agreement and called for the return of the Balangiga Bells, through quiet diplomacy, for national heritage and reconciliation. 

He also placed ASEAN centrality as a cornerstone of Philippine foreign policy and championed the development of a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea. The Philippines first hosted the APEC Economic Leaders Summit in 1996 during the Ramos Presidency, wherein the APEC Business Advisory Council was first convened affirming the central role of business in the APEC process. It was also during Ramos' term that the Philippines diversified international trade and institutionalized the protection of Filipinos abroad, setting up the country for the economic growth trajectory and resilience it enjoys today.  


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Since 1984, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for U.S. corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership of nearly 170 companies generates almost US$7 trillion in revenue and employs more than 14.5 million people.  Today our members include the largest U.S. companies conducting business in ASEAN and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for more than 100 years. The Council has nine offices around the globe, in Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; Singapore; and Yangon, Myanmar.