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31 May 2014

ATLANTA—Saying prospects for the Philippines have never been brighter, a high-level business delegation from Manila called on Filipino-Americans to also do their share by playing an active role in maintaining the country’s upward trajectory.

In their meeting with members of the Filipino-American Community in Atlanta, members of the 3rd Private Sector-Led Philippines Investment Roadshow led by noted economist Dr. Bernardo Villegas urged Filipino-Americans to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the improved business climate in the country.

The meeting with the Filipino-American community was part of the Philippines: Asia's New Emerging Tiger business forum that was also participated in by Fred Austria, President of DMCI; Bong Borja, President of Expert Global; Martin Pascual, Director of Pascual Laboratories; and Phillip Romualdez, President of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.

In his presentation, Dr. Villegas gave a comprehensive overview of the positive investment climate in the Philippines and predicted that the country’s economic growth of 7.5 percent last year could even expand to 10 percent to 15 percent in the next 10 years.

“The economy is so strong that even if the people decide to elect a movie star to succeed President Aquino, the Philippines will survive and continue to prosper,” Dr. Villegas predicted.

The delegation, which also included Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., said big businesses and corporations are not the only ones that can invest in the Philippines and that the Filipino-American Community also has a special role to play in the country’s economy.

In his remarks, Ambassador Cuisia said the Philippines is ripe for business and investment for the estimated 3.5 million Filipinos currently in the United States.

“I encourage you to consider ‘development investment’ as you make your remittances. You can be a small angel investor to small- and medium-size enterprises in the Philippines that actually comprise the backbone of Philippine business and drivers of growth and employment in your country,” Ambassador Cuisia said.

In the forum at the United Parcel Service auditorium that was attended by top Atlanta executives, the delegation presented investment opportunities in business process and knowledge process operations; information technology; pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; and real estate and construction.

The forum was organized by First Secretary and Consul Lilibeth Almonte-Arbez, Trade Counselor Maria Roseni Alvero and Honorary Consul General Raul Donato in collaboration with United Parcel Service, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia.

The delegation were also hosted by Coca Cola and the World Affairs Council in a breakfast roundtable attended by Council founding members like UPS, Crawford and Company, AJC Corporation and the Georgia University School of Law. ###