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27/04/2013: PH No Longer the Dark Horse of Asia

27 April 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- The Philippines is no longer a dark horse in Asia, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia told a prominent organization in Chicago as he urged its members to consider investing in a country that is now considered a new economic tiger.

“With all the good news coming out of the Philippines lately, the country is no longer a dark horse as it is now making a competitive run,” Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., told members of the prestigious Chicago Council on Global Affairs at the Chicago Sofitel Water Tower on Thursday.

“Investors trying to avoid some of the risks in Asia are beginning to find out that the biggest risk is not being in the Philippines.” Ambassador Cuisia said in his keynote speech before more than 120 members of the Council, mostly representing the business community and the academe.

Ambassador Cuisia opened the seminar by highlighting the growing trade between the Philippines and the United States, Manila’s third largest trading partner.  He said Chicago was included in the itinerary of the members of the 2nd Investment Roadshow headed by economist Dr. Bernardo Villegas because of the big growth potential of Philippine trade and investments.

Carl Stern, Vice Chairman of the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs, who introduced Ambassador Cuisia, set the tone for the forum by declaring that “the sense of progress is palpable in the Philippines.”

According to Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim, Chicago and the rest of Illinois is home to the third highest concentration of Filipinos among in the United States, as well as to a considerable number of Fortune 500 companies.

Consul General Herrera-Lim quoted Executive Director Eric Breila as saying that it was the first time the Council, which has been providing a forum for world leaders and policymakers to discuss global issues and international developments had invited a Filipino diplomat in many years.

Executive Director Breila said it was also the first time that a meeting of the council, which is made up largely of members from business and the academe, was received with such enthusiasm by the Chicago community as evidenced by the positive turnout of more than 120 guests.

Before the forum, Ambassador Cuisia and members of the business delegation who included Benjamin Philip Romualdez, President of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines and Isidro Consunji, President of DMCI Holdings, participated in an investment seminar entitled “The Philippines: Asia’s New Emerging Tiger” was participated in by American and Filipino business owners and corporate executives from the Chicago area.

Consul General Herrera-Lim said the other members of the delegation who were present were Roberto Dispo, President of First Metro Investment Corporation; Rainerio Borja, President of EGS Philippines; and Jesus Zulueta, Chairman of ZMG Ward Howell.

During the seminar, Dr. Villegas discussed the macroeconomic developments in the Philippines and the future of the ASEAN Economic Community while the rest of the delegation made individual presentations that focused on business opportunities for investors in key sectors such as Infrastructure and Real Estate, Mining, Financial Services, Business Process and Knowledge Process Outsourcing, and Human Resources.  Business-to-business meetings concluded the program. ###