PH no more 'sick man of Asia' - PNoy

Posted at 01/27/13 5:48 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- President Benigno Aquino III said his meeting with leaders who attended the World Economic Forum has been “very successful” and this can only mean more investments for the country.

Aquino arrived past 3 p.m. on Sunday from Davos, Switzerland, armed with promises from businessmen that they will be checking out the Philippines soon in order to park their money.

In his arrival speech, Aquino said: “Nakita natin na napakarami talagang gustong sumakay sa pag-arangkada ng ating ekonomiya. Saksi po sila: Hindi tayo napako sa mga pangakong hatid ng agenda ng reporma. Ang mga kumpanyang matagal nang narito, magpapalawak ng kanilang mga operasyon, at niyaya pa ang mga kumpanyang Pilipinong sumali sa mga joint venture, hindi lang po sa Pilipinas, kundi pati na rin sa ibang bansa.”

Philippine officials met with global business groups in roundtable discussion arranged by the Ayala Corp. The groups include Mitsubishi and Unilever.

"Then there are a lot of new entities. There is even an entity that wants to invest in the educational sector, but all of the details will be fleshed out later. But I think, there's a universal consensus both by the participants and by the Cabinet members present and our business sector that it was a very ‘successful meeting,’” Aquino said in a separate interview in Davos.

He said a team, which he did not name, will be coming over to check into possibilities for investments. Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said the firms that expressed interest include a “very big hedge fund” based in the United States.

In his arrival speech, Aquino said the possible investors may focus on education, infrastructure, retail and information technology.

Aquino said the once “Sick Man of Asia” is no more.

“Isipin po ninyo: Ang dating uugod-ugod na ‘Sick Man of Asia,’ ngayon, dire-diretso na sa pag-arangkada, at magiging tagpuan na ng isa sa mga mahahalagang pagtitipon sa rehiyon,” he said.

The Philippines will host the East Asia Summit for the World Economic Forum in 2014, he also earlier announced.

“Lahat po sila, pumipila at nakikipag-ugnayan na sa atin; nakikita nila ang bagong mukha ng Pilipinas, at nagugustuhan nila ito,” he said.