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Marcos to business groups: Maximize capabilities, enhance economic ties

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Marcos to business groups: Maximize capabilities, enhance economic ties
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 – President Marcos has urged businesses to find new ways of forging partnerships and boosting capabilities so they can contribute more to economic growth for the benefit of all sectors.

During a dialogue with the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday here, Marcos emphasized the need to maximize available assets and capabilities while finding ways to enhance economic relationships.

“We really have to leverage whatever assets, whatever capabilities we have so that we can maximize our ability to grow and to pull the economy,” the President said.

“Let us find new ways to partner, let us find new ways to develop, let us find new ways to strengthen this relationship between the United States, ASEAN and the Philippines and in that way, the synergies we will find in that kind of relationship will be to the benefit of us all,” he added.

In a Facebook post, Marcos expressed hope that as ties between partners are strengthened, innovative solutions to boost their economies together emerge. He said the dialogue with the two groups was intended “to chart new paths for furthering mutually beneficial economic and investment agendas with the United States.”

“As we reopen our borders amid the pandemic, we remain firm in our belief that stronger ties with US and ASEAN investors will lead us to a more resilient economy,” Marcos added.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Marcos’ meeting with the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce was an opportunity for him to discuss the measures being undertaken by his administration to reform the economy and lure investors.

“The President believes that the two institutions are important partners in growing the businesses in our country and in creating more jobs for Filipinos,” she added.

Marcos also discussed the Philippines’ priorities tackled in his speech during the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), as well as the economic and investment agenda of his administration.

The US-ASEAN Business Council is an advocacy organization of US corporations operating within the ASEAN region. The US Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, is an assembly of small businesses and business chambers across the US. It represents the interests of more than three million businesses.

Other meetings

Marcos also had a series of meetings on economic issues, food security, and peace process last Wednesday, the fourth day of his six-day working visit here.

He also met with World Bank president David Malpass and other officials of the multilateral lender. Also present during the meeting were Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Felipe Medalla, and Speaker Martin Romualdez. Malacañang has yet to provide details of the meeting.

On the same day, the President met with executives of Cargill, an American global food corporation, to discuss ways to achieve food security and self-sufficiency. In a Facebook post, Marcos described the meeting as “enlightening.”

Cargill, which provides agricultural products, farming services and risk management solutions, employs about 50,000 people and has presence in more than 70 countries. The meeting came a day after Marcos delivered an address before the UNGA, where he appealed to nations to strengthen their cooperation on agriculture and food security.

The President also met with former United Kingdom prime minister Tony Blair, who is now the executive chairman of the non-profit Tony Blair Institute For Global Change.

“We tackled the optimistic peace process in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and explored concrete ways to address other priority issues in the global economy such as food security, climate action, and trade,” Marcos said in a Facebook post.

Blair’s accomplishments include overseeing the Northern Irish peace process, response to the 9/11 attacks and the London bombings of 2005.

Meanwhile, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) yesterday welcomed the call of President Marcos for climate justice in his UNGA speech.

CCC vice chair and executive director Robert Borje said Marcos’ statement, which underscored the need to address climate injustice, “sets the groundwork for principled global climate action.”

“The Philippines has a strong and resonant voice for climate justice to make sure that the global community urgently responds to the needs of the times,” he said in a statement.

Greta blasts Marcos

But international climate activist Greta Thunberg took a stand against Marcos, saying climate justice cannot be achieved under his presidency.

“There can be no climate justice under Marcos… We stand in solidarity with the martial law victims seeking justice and the human rights defenders pursuing the democratic rights of people and climate justice,” Thunberg said.

Thunberg, along with fellow climate activists Alde Nilsson and Mitzi Tan, also expressed their support for Filipino activists in a video played during the event commemorating the declaration of martial law at the University of the Philippines Diliman campus.– Janvic Mateo

MARCOS JR.

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