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25/01/2013: US-Philippines Society Board Meeting and Program - Manila, January 23-25, 2013

25 January 2013

US-Philippines Society
Board Meeting and Program
Manila, January 23-25, 2013

The US-Philippines Society completed a highly successful three-day program in Manila January 25 surrounding its second annual board of directors meeting. The Society, with offices in Washington, DC, was launched on June 7 during the official US visit of President Benigno Aquino with the objective of raising the profile of the Philippines in the United States.

The January 23-25 mission, hosted by Society Co-Chair Manuel V. Pangilinan, included a blue-ribbon delegation led by American Co-Chair Ambassador John D. Negroponte, honorary Chairs Washington Sycip and Maurice (Hank) Greenberg, Philippine Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., and Society President John Maisto. The 25-member board includes distinguished list of representatives from both the US and the Philippines.

With the support of Ambassador Cuisia, Society directors met with public and private sector leaders to listen and better understand recent progress achieved in the Philippines and to plan activities for 2013. The program featured a call on President Aquino followed by exchanges with Foreign Affairs Secretary Del Rosario, Defense Secretary Gazmin, Finance Secretary Purisima, and Trade and Industry Secretary Domingo.

In a January 24 forum organized by the Makati Business Club (MBC) and hosted by PLDT and Meralco, the Society delegation, which included former US Trade Representative Carla Hills and former SEC Chairman Roderick Hills, was welcomed by MBC Chair Ramon del Rosario, Jr. Representatives of leading US firms met with Philippine counterparts to discuss investment opportunities in key sectors, including energy, infrastructure, mining and services. The forum included presentations by ex-Finance Secretary Roberto de Ocampo and former American ambassadors Richard Murphy, John Negroponte and Thomas Hubbard who shared perspectives on regional and global strategic issues facing the two countries. Mr. Manny Pangilinan delivered the closing remarks.

Society directors also met with Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno for an update on the Philippines’ judicial reform agenda, visited Clark to explore business opportunities, and exchanged ideas at the Asian Institute of Management on corporate governance. US Ambassador Harry Thomas hosted a reception for Society directors and Philippine government and private sector leaders.

The US-Philippines Society is planning to support trade and investment missions in both countries in 2013, think tank symposiums in the US, and continuing promotion of cultural programs and educational exchanges.