MANILA -– Senator Franklin Drilon on Wednesday said the hosting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia is an opportunity for the Philippines to showcase to the world the country’s economic growth story.
”Hosting the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia is an opportunity for Filipinos to tell the world about our country’s economic success. This is our moment,” Drilon said in a press statement at the start of the three-day WEF at the Makati-Shangri-La Hotel.
The Senate leader said the economic forum to be held in the Philippines for the first time is an “auspicious venue” to encourage more investors, expand trade activities and attract more tourists in the country.
”We shall showcase not just the economic miracle that we are experiencing, but also the government’s massive efforts to improve infrastructure and create an environment conducive for business to flourish as well as a vast pool of excellent human resources, the Filipino’s resilience and indomitable spirit even in the face of heart-breaking natural and man-made calamities,” Drilon said.
While there is a need to highlight the country economic gains, Drilon said there are much more needs to be done for the Philippines to attain inclusive growth.
”We need to create more jobs for our people and ease poverty. Hence, we are taking concrete measures to strengthen our economic fundamentals so as to transform the Philippines into a major investment and tourist destination in Asia,” Drilon said.
”For decades, the Philippines had been known as the “sick man of Asia”. However, in the last three years or more, we have seen a major change in the country’s economic performance,” Drilon added.
The Philippines is now the fastest growing economy in the region, next only to China. Last year, the country posted GDP growth of 7.2 percent, much higher than the 6.8 percent posted in 2012.
”The impressive economic performance, the investment grade status, improved rankings in global competitiveness surveys, and the overwhelming confidence of the international community in our economy are attributed to the government’s relentless efforts to improve the quality of governance. If not for the various disasters that affected our country, the economic figures could be higher,” Drilon said.