Aquino aims to 're-showcase' Philippines in Davos, Switzerland

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III is scheduled to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, this week with the aim of "re-showcasing" the Philippines as a revitalized and improved place for investments.

"The primary purpose of the Davos visit is to re-showcase the Philippines—what the Philippines has been doing; what President Aquino has been doing insofar as reforms that are being undertaken and why the Philippine economy has gone to where it is right now," Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said when asked about the trip set from January 23 to 26.

Lacierda expressed confidence that the President would be able to lure potential investors to invest in the country considering the reforms implemented by Aquino in his almost three-year presidency.

"The international community is seeing the business (in the Philippines) as a level field and they're interested to invest in the Philippines," he said.

He likewise said that the Aquino administration has greatly improved the image of the Philippines from being the "Sick Man of Asia" to becoming a "haven for business opportunities."

"There's so much that the Philippines can offer to the international community. The strength of our economy is one proof that good governance is working. The root of our progress right now is that the international community has seen a 180-degree change in governance," he added.

"Look, the Philippines is under new management so if the CEOs are convinced—and I'm sure they will be convinced that the Philippines is under new management—they will order their business units to invest in the Philippines or to look in, to explore economic opportunities in the Philippines," he said.

Aside from meeting top CEOs, President Aquino is also scheduled to meet with Filipino community at the Renaissance Hotel in Switzerland before he leaves for Manila on Saturday (January 26).

This will be his first visit to Switzerland since he assumed office in June 2010.

"The Filipino community, I think, we're all very proud that the President is coming to Switzerland," Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland Leslie Baja said.

He said Filipinos in Switzerland is looking forward to being able to hear and see the President in person.

Baja said Aquino's meeting with the Filipino community would be a good opportunity for him to oversee their condition and to brief them on the positive developments in the Philippines under his watch.

As of June 2012, there were some 10,940 Filipinos in Switzerland broken down as follows -- 6,061 permanent migrants, 1,201 children/dependents, and 3,678 workers.

Majority of the Filipinos working in Switzerland are nurses, some are working in Swiss multinationals, some are in Geneva serving as international civil servants and working for various international organizations among others.

Joining the President during his meeting with the Filipino community are Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Ambassador Baja, Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad, Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras, Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, and Communications Secretary Ramon Carandang. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)

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