Arrival statement of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for his participation in the World Economic Forum (WEF)

Speeches 21 January 2023

Thank you, Secretary Ricky Manalo of the DFA; Vice President Sara Duterte and our party that came that was headed by well of course our Speaker Martin Romualdez and the Deputy Speaker, former President, President GMA; our Philippine Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Babes Romualdez… [Oh, please sit down. Thank you for reminding me.] And thank you to our First Lady, Louise Araneta-Marcos. Our welcoming reception committee, whenever it is that we come here: Pasay City Representative Antonino Calixto and our good friend of course Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano; AFP Chief of Staff General Andy Centino; major service commanders; the Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Abu, who is going to be very, very busy in the next few weeks; PNP Lieutenant General Rhodel Sermonia; my fellow workers in government; ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

Ako’y nagagalak na makabalik at makasama kayong lahat muli mula sa misyon ng inyong lingkod na lumahok sa World Economic Forum (WEF) sa Davos, Switzerland.

International engagement and outreach with our global partners in government, in business, international civil organizations, and the academe form an important cornerstone of this administration’s security, economic, and people-centered development agenda.

I am pleased with the progress we have made during our crucial participation in the World Economic Forum (WEF), a truly global multi-stakeholder platform.

The trip has yielded beneficial outcomes relative to new trade and investment opportunities, and key partnerships forged to support our development program, a better appreciation for Filipino workers and professionals, and the promise of increased level of cooperation with various countries around the world.

This trip is fairly unique for the medium to long term goodwill and interest we have generated for our country, our enterprises, and our people. Through the multi-stakeholder platform provided by World Economic Forum, the Philippines is able to articulate and exchange views on pressing issues that impact on the lives and livelihood of all Filipinos.

Our WEF engagement has enabled the many leaders and experts in government, in business, civil organization, and in the academe that were in attendance to receive the good news that the Philippines is leading economic recovery and performance not only in the Asia-Pacific but also in the whole world. That the Philippines is not only driving economic growth; we are also helping mend the fissures that have fragmented the world of late and doing our part to avert an economic crisis.

We shared our insight and experience in being a resilient hardworking people – uniting in adversity and looking out for each other in crisis. And for this, I thank you.

With the help of the economic team comprised of Finance Secretary Ben Diokno, Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual, and NEDA Secretary Arsi Balisacan, and joined by Speaker Martin Romualdez, we took part in a CEO Dialogue on the Philippines under the auspices of the World Economic Forum. You will notice of course that Secretary Ben Diokno and Secretary Arsi Balisacan are not with us as they had remained to follow up – for follow-up meetings that were not scheduled but were had become scheduled after we had met with the different economic leaders and political leaders in Davos.

I also drew attention to the Philippines’ work across trade and investment, monetary and fiscal policies, food and energy security, climate action, structural reforms, digitalization, public-private partnerships, health and nutrition, education, and other social services.

I highlighted this administration’s policies, including the Philippine Development Plan, the 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda, and various other policies and legislations that spotlight the economic reforms of the Philippines that have led to our sustained growth, even post COVID-19 and amidst the current global economic downturn.

I also discussed our budget, strategies, policies, programs, and projects for climate-resilient infrastructure and our flagship “Build, Better, More,” and our active policies toward public-private partnerships and other forms of collaboration in infrastructure – all this work is toward the fulfillment of a resilient, inclusive, and sustainable infrastructure ecosystem for the Philippines.

I took the opportunity as well to consult with our friends and partners in Davos on the sovereign wealth fund as a means for us to diversify our income sources, and to generate various welfare effects to the Filipino people, while recognizing that this is a collaborative work with experts and our lawmakers so that its final form is what we intend it to be. And that discussion about the sovereign wealth fund, the Maharlika Fund, was an interactive one wherein not only did we present our ideas on what the fund should look like but we asked them what do you think would be most advantageous for the Philippines so as to allow the potential investments that you are thinking about bringing into the Philippines and how the fund would be best designed to service that investment.

I opened the panel session on “Moving Towards Nutrition Security,” where I discussed some of the efforts and goals that we have set to achieve food and nutrition security, and had provided ideas on how the global community can cooperate to expedite and ensure that our efforts remain effective.

I further took part in a High-Level Dialogue on “Investing in Infrastructure for Resilience” alongside a few other leaders of countries and international and supranational organizations to discuss our infrastructure flagship and how this can contribute to our goal of a resilient Philippines.

I met with the World Economic Forum Founder and Chairman Emeritus Klaus Schwab who has become a dear friend of the Philippines and we discussed partnerships and collaboration to help the Philippines sustain equitable and inclusive growth and provide for a better quality of life for Filipinos.

I met with world leaders to discuss how we can further cooperate to ensure that lasting peace and prosperity for all are on the horizon.

I had the opportunity to meet and exchange views with a few leaders of countries and organizations, such as WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, World Bank Managing Director for Operations Axel Van Trotsenburg, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, to align and agree to push for common priorities and support the multilateral trading system to benefit all.

The process that we undertook really in Davos was not simply to highlight the new situation, the new economic situation, the new policies, and the new concepts that we are promoting in the Philippines today, but also to learn from the world leaders and the world economic leaders what part the Philippines can play in this fragmented world. That was the main theme in this entire forum is how do we bring back cooperation in a fragmented world. And we are seen to play a part in that and especially as a member state of ASEAN and as a leading economy in Asia.

I was joined by leaders from the Philippine business community. We took part in several activities to help promote partnerships with our private sector economic leaders.

I met with key executives of companies such as DP World, Glencore, and Morgan Stanley, who incidentally is going to be now because of investor confidence is going to open an office here in the Philippines. [applause]

The business meetings held promise new investments in many of our economic sectors including mining and processing, digital solutions, logistics, telecommunications, and renewable fuel, amongst others, and will enable our companies to participate deeper in global value chains.

Finally, as ever no visit will ever be complete without meeting our countrymen in Switzerland and the surrounding areas. We were serenaded to our great surprise by a young man by the name of Aivan Mendoza, grand finalist of The Voice France, who showcased how Filipino talent is truly world class and served as another shining example of how all Filipinos are individual Ambassadors of goodwill in their own right.

We now will be working to consolidate and develop these contacts and discussions that we have begun. The measure of success will be how much of this we can bring to fruition. That process has begun, and we will continue until we see the final results of these endeavours.

Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat at magandang hapon. [applause]

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