WASHINGTON, D.C. 11 November 2019 — “The Philippines has come a long way, but it is now recognized globally as among the fastest growing and most resilient economies in the world. Its prospects are bright. However, the transformation was a product of a long list of structural reforms. It did not happen overnight,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said in a forum held at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. on 16 October 2019.
The Philippine recorded its 82nd consecutive quarter of uninterrupted economic growth in the second quarter of 2019. “This shows that we have managed to sail through the toughest external challenges from the Asian financial crisis to the global financial crisis,” Governor Diokno also pointed out.
November 10, 2019 – American companies consider the Philippines as a viable site in relocating operations from China amid the two superpower countries’ growing trade war.
The US Chamber of Commerce said that investors have seen the efforts of the Philippine government to upscale its business climate, citing the annual Ease of Doing Business Report by the World Bank. The report shows a big leap in the Philippines’s ranking from 124th to 95th in the 2020 edition.
“I think that demonstrates that you see an ongoing effort in the Philippines to improve the business climate, improve the investment environment and so I think that countries are paying attention and that there are business opportunities in that market for sure,” USCC Executive Director for Southeast Asia John Goyer said.
Opening the event, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has become one of the most successful regional organisations in the world. With a combined population of over 640 million and an economy worth nearly 3 trillion USD in 2018, ASEAN is currently the third biggest economy in Asia and the sixth largest in the world.
Its member countries are striving to build the ASEAN Economic Community. In that process, the bloc always considers connectivity and integration as part of the top priorities in building the community so as to capitalise on the advantages of a dynamic and potential region. To achieve this, enhancing transport connectivity is of critical importance, he noted.
MANILA, Philippines — The former US military bases in Clark and Subic should attract more American investors given the soon-to-rise big-ticket public infrastructure projects in Central Luzon, the head of the Duterte administration’s economic team said.
During the Philippine Economic Briefing Roundtable held in Washington, D.C. last week, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III noted in a speech that on several occasions, the US business community already expressed interest to participate in the ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.
However, Dominguez lamented that “no serious offer has come [from American firms], and this is to bid in an international bidding program.”
Empowering a skilled digital workforce, increasing regional connectivity, and understanding the impact of technology on jobs and productivity were central themes for this year’s meetings between the US-Asean Business Council (US-ABC) delegation and the Asean Telecommunications and IT Ministers.
The meetings took place in Vientiane last week as part of the annual Asean Telecommunications and IT Ministers Meeting (Telmin).
The US-ABC delegation included seven leading US technology companies led by US-ABC president and CEO Alexander C Feldman, US-ABC senior vice-president and regional managing director Michael W Michalak and US-ABC Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Committee chair and Cisco Systems Asean president Naveen Menon.
“Southeast Asia’s digital economy topped $100 billion this year for the first time and is now projected to grow to $300 billion by 2025,” said Feldman.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's speech at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York was chock-full of talking points, but the one that stood out was his declaration that Thailand would become a rich country by 2036.
"Thailand will become a high-income country with fairness, respect for basic human rights and participation in all sectors of society," Gen Prayut said, according to the US-Asean Business Council.
The remark bears no relation to the current reality, and analysts question whether Southeast Asia's second-largest economy can vault from a middle-income trap to the high-income segment within 17 years.
Thosaporn Sirisamphand, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), said the prime minister's remark came as no surprise, as the lofty goal is stipulated in the country's 20-year national strategy (2017-37).
Big American corporations are looking at investing in Philippine infrastructure projects, especially in the former US air base in Clark, to foster closer ties between Manila and Washington, the US-Asean Business Council said.
In a statement sent to the Inquirer, the US-Asean Business Council said its delegation composed of 21 top American companies visited the Philippines on Sept. 16-18, led by council president and chief executive Alexander Feldman and senior vice president and regional managing director Ambassador Michael Michalak.
“This mission was a timely opportunity for US business to renew engagement and better understand the government of the Philippines’ priorities,” Feldman said.
During their visit, “mission themes focused on existing activities underway to promote free and open trade and remove barriers to investment,” the US-Asean Business Council said.
Reports from the Bank of Thailand’s Monetary policy committee on Wednesday this week indicated that Thailand’s tourism sector in 2019 is in decline while the Financial Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Unit on Friday indicated that tourist figures are up by 7.4%. The contradiction comes as Thailand pins its hopes on a surge in both tourism and exports to achieve its target of 3% growth this year. The Bank of Thailand has projected a growth rate of 2.8% but all the economic indicators suggest that this figure may also be challenged if the upswing does not come to pass by year’s end.
The Thai prime minister put the best foot forward in New York over the last few days in key speeches and meetings with senior figures such as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He pledged that Thailand would stand with the US as a friend in the region and that the kingdom would become a high-income society by 2036 with a greater emphasis placed on human rights and inclusion.
NEW YORK: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it is most likely he will be in power for no more than three years before bowing out.
“I promise that I would step down before the next election and give way to another candidate. So, I may have at the most three years, perhaps, ” he said at a dialogue held at the Council on Foreign Relations here on Thursday.
With its headquarters here, the council is a US think-tank specialising in US foreign policy and international affairs.
In town for the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Dr Mahathir said he needed to accomplish a few things during the three years, and he expects his work to be very tough and that he currently puts in 18 hours a day.
At a meeting with members of the United States-Asean Business Council and US Chamber of Commerce, Dr Mahathir, 94, touted Malaysia’s business-friendly stance as he went about wooing American investors.