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27/03/2012: Philippine Embassy and US Chamber of Commerce Convene Business Roundtable on ‘Strengthening PH-US Trade and Investment Partnership’

27 MARCH 2012, WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. and the United States Chamber of Commerce jointly convened a business roundtable focused on "Strengthening Philippines-U.S. Trade and Investment Partnership" on 23 March 2012 at the Lee Anderson Veterans Center of the U.S. Chamber headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“We hope to identify the key priorities and determine the key elements that will further strengthen the Philippines-U.S. bilateral trade and investment partnership,” Ambassador Cuisia said.

U.S. Chamber Vice President for Asia Tami Overby, in turn, explained that the roundtable is a product of the Arangkada Philippines 2010, an advocacy paper published by the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines, which identified headline recommendations on how to improve the Philippines’ international competitiveness.

USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Asia Greg Beck also discussed the Philippine-U.S. Partnership for Growth, “a new approach to development”, which leverages both countries’ resources and development tools.

Other discussants were Ralph Carter, Managing Director of FedEx; Adam Salerno, Director for the National Security and Emergency Preparedness Department of the US Chamber; Bronson Lee, GE’s Manager for Energy Government Affairs and Policy; John Reilly, Director for International and External Affairs of AT&T; David Timberman, Advisor for MSI; and Scott Ciment, ABA Philippines Country Director.

Dr. Steven Rood, The Asia Foundation’s country representative to the Philippines, synthesized the discussions by emphasizing the new-found optimism and confidence in the Aquino administration as well as the government’s on-going efforts to achieve political and economic reforms. Philippine American Chamber of Commerce-New York President, Rene “Butch” Meily, concluded the roundtable by reiterating the importance of the bilateral relationship, nurtured by a shared history and adherence to common values.

Attended by more than 30 key U.S. government agencies, top U.S. firms and advocacy groups, the roundtable discussed the challenges and opportunities in key sectors such as supply chain, energy, and telecommunications, as well as the progress being made by the Philippine Government in strengthening the rule of law and anti-corruption measures. END

(L-R) PACC President Rene “Butch” Meily, US Chamber of Commerce Tami Overby, Ambassador Jose Cuisia, USAID DAA Greg Beck and US Chamber of Commerce Senior Director John Goyer

Ambassador Cuisia addresses questions during Q&A