Why Philippines hosting WEF East Asia Summit is a big deal

Posted at 05/14/14 11:40 AM


MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is hosting the World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA) next week, which is expected to attract top business leaders and investors from all over the world.

Guillermo Luz, Co-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC), said this is the first time WEF has chosen the Philippines as the host for one of its meetings. The event is seen as an opportunity to showcase the Philippines, whose economic growth was one of the fastest in the region last year, as the "next Asian miracle".

"They've held it for 23 years in East Asia, but never in the Philippines, so I think it's important to have it here. We've packaged it with many other conferences. We're looking at the cumulative effect of WEF and others over the next couple of years to bring the Philippines to the attention of investors," Luz said on ANC's Headstart.

The WEF East Asia Summit will gather top business leaders from all over the world for a three-day conference to discuss various issues such as the East Asia economic outlook, transparency, gender gap and global citizenship. It will be held on May 21 to 23 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel

Luz noted majority of those who will attend the WEF event are foreigners, and many are first-time visitors to the Philippines.

"Many of them do not have businesses here... The idea is to talk to people and introduce the Philippines to them," he said.

Luz said the WEF event will highlight the Philippines' economic success.

"We've had 7 percent plus growth. We had credit ratings upgrade to investment grade. Our competitiveness ranking has gone up, not just with WEF," he said.