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20/01/2013: Powerhouse Delegation Arriving from US to Promote Greater Trade and Investment with the Philippines

20 January 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A powerhouse delegation that includes some of the big corporate names in the United States will be in Manila this week to promote greater trade and investment with the Philippines.

In a statement, the Philippine Embassy said the delegation, which will be in Manila from 23 to 25 January, is led by the US-Philippines Society, a non-profilt and independent organization that seeks to raise the profile of the Philippines in the United States.

The Society, which was formally established during the visit to Washington last year of President Aquino, is co-chaired by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. Chair Manuel Pangilinan and former US Ambassador to the Philippines John Negroponte.

“The delegation will participate in a dynamic program aimed at strengthening ties with political and business leaders, fostering discussion of strategic issues, and promoting business and investment opportunities,” said Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia Jr. who will be leading the delegation along with Ambassador Negroponte.

Ambassador Cuisia said the delegation will include executives of such topnotch companies as Citigroup, Chevron, Coca Cola, General Electric, JP Morgan Chase, Procter & Gamble, Peregrine Development International, CV Starr & Co., the US Education Finance Group, McLarty & Associates, Federal Express and Spence & Co.

He said the delegation will call on President Aquino and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and participate in a policy forum with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo.

According to Ambassador Cuisia, the Policy Forum will also feature Ambassador Negroponte and two other former ambassadors to Manila—Thomas Hubbard and Richard Murphy—who will discuss the strategic environment in the region and the outlook for policy directions as the second term of President Obama begins in Washington.

He said the program also includes a meeting with US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr.; a dialogue with business leaders organized by the Makati Business Club; and visits to the Global Gateway Logistics City at the Clark Freeport in Pampanga; the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions of the Department of Trade and Industry; and the Asian Institute of Management.

Ambassador Cuisia said the delegation will also attend the second regular meeting of the Board of Directors which is made up of civic and business leaders from the US and the Philippines.

Aside from Pangilinan and Ambassador Negroponte, the other members of the board are Washington Z. Sycip and Maurice Greenberg, honorary cochairmen; Ambassador Cuisia, ex-officio board member; Ambassador John Maisto, President; Ambassador Hank Hendrickson, Executive Director; and Atty. Leo Canseco is Legal Counsel.

The other Founding Board Members are Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Corporation; Enrique K. Razon, Jr. of ICTSI; Ambassador Roberto R. Romulo; Ambassador Thomas C. Hubbard, McLarty Associates;. Robert A. McDonald, Procter & Gamble; Melody Meyer, Chevron; Atty. Cirilo P. Noel, SGV; Aurelio R. Montinola III, Bank of the Philippine IsIands; Dennis Wright, Peregrine; Henry Howard, US Education Finance Group; Loida Nicolas Lewis, TLC Beatrice; Dado Banatao, Tallwood Venture Capital; Jay Collins, Citigroup; Teresita Sy-Coson, SM Investments; Ramon del Rosario, Jr., PHINMA; Doris Magsaysay-Ho, Magsaysay Shipping; Stuart Dean, GE; Anthony Quan, Coca Cola; Therese Esperdy, JP Morgan Chase. Former US Ambassadors to the Philippines Frank G. Wisner and Richard W. Murphy are recent additions to the board.

Following its launch, the Society has collaborated with the Philippine Embassy in sponsoring conferences on governance, development and security, and judicial reform featuring senior Philippine political and academic leaders. It also organized a successful tour by the Bayanihan Dance Company to New York and Washington to showcase Filipino culture.

Ambassador Cuisia said the 2013 programs of the Society reflects its underlying goal of drawing more attention to US-Philippine relations in Washington through a comprehensive approach, bringing together policy-makers, congressional leaders, think tank analysts, academics, cultural and artistic figures, and the media.