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Marcos says he cannot imagine PHL's future without US as a partner

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Marcos says he cannot imagine PHL's future without US as a partner
This photo posted by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. shows him and part of the delegation to the United States arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, United States.
Bongbong Marcos / Facebook

NEW YORK, United States — President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said he expects the Philippines' long-standing relationship with the US to strengthen further, adding he cannot imagine Manila's future without Washington as its partner.

Addressing investors during the New York Stock Exchange economic forum, Marcos said many of the drivers of the Philippines' early economy and strongest corporate benefactors to its government and society came from the US.

"Now of course, this has evolved as time has gone on but the strength of that relationship continues. And we envision a further strengthening of those relationships," he said.

"I cannot overstate really the role that the United States has played in the Philippines in every aspect of our lives. And so this is just a continuing evolution and I believe strengthening that relationship between the United States and the Philippines," he added.

US-Philippines relations

Marcos also highlighted the importance of the relationship between the two countries during a lunch hosted by the US-Philippines Society on Monday.

"I spoke to them and we talked perhaps more on the subject of geopolitics and explained that it is very clear to me in my vision for the way that the country will move forward that I cannot see the Philippines in the future without having the United States as a partner," he said.

"And although I was referring to the geopolitics of it and I was referring to the political situation in the region and around the world, that certainly does continue to apply in our exchanges on the economic front."

Marcos' tone was different from that of his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte, who had affirmed the Philippines' ties with the US in official statements but had lambasted Washington several times in his public speeches. Duterte had gone as far as to declare the Philippines' "separation" from the US but his officials claimed he was just reiterating the need to maintain an independent foreign policy and to boost ties with non-traditional allies.

Duterte, who did not visit the US while he was president, had assailed the administration of former US president Barack Obama for criticizing his brutal war on drugs, a move that he viewed as an interference with domestic affairs. But during the latter part of his term, Duterte thanked the US for donating COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines.

US as trade partner

Marcos noted that the US is the Philippines' third largest trading partner and second major source of foreign direct investment applications last year.

"Over the past few decades, as the Philippines transformed into one of the most promising emerging markets, the United States has been among our steady partners.  For that, we are truly grateful. At the same time, American companies doing business in the Philippines have benefited significantly from our economic successes," he added.

Aside from the enduring ties in trade, institutional memory plays a role in the relationship between the two countries, Marcos said.

"There is a form of institutional memory and we still look to the United States as our partners. When we are in crisis, we look to the United States. We look to the relationship that has been forged over the many years and I have to say the reason that we have done that is that for the most part we can say that the United States has not failed us," the president said.

"That sentiment remains in our young men and women. That sentiment remains and will I think be further fostered if we are able to show some successes at least immediately - we show some immediate successes in this partnership. And that will galvanize our young people to continue to work in that direction," he added.

Marcos said the political, economic and diplomatic relations forged by the Philippines are going to be "extremely necessary" for they provide stability in this "highly unstable" environment.

"This is something that is central to our thinking when it comes to the economic planning for the Philippines. So again we have adjusted many of our ways of doing business at the behest of our friends in the United States and of the Americans businesses that are already in the Philippines," the President said.

"And so I think that that will give us great opportunities in the future and for both our countries, for private corporations, for government-to-government agreements and arrangements," he added.

After the economic forum, Marcos rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange, signifying the end of the trading day.

"We are all thrilled to be here... When we were talking before coming out here, I said well you know of course we’re familiar with the New York Stock Exchange and the bell and that most important balcony in the world," Marcos said.

"But we had always watched it from afar. And to have the opportunity to be here personally and to be with all of you in the New York Stock Exchange has been a great opportunity and a great pleasure," he added.

Marcos has expressed hope that he would meet with US President Joe Biden during his working visit here. As of Monday, there was no information on whether such a meeting would take place. 

BONGBONG MARCOS

UNITED STATES

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