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Businessman Sabin M. Aboitiz, lead convenor of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is selling the Philippines as “the next big thing in Asia” as he whetted the appetite of American firms to funnel their investment-dollars in the country, according to a report by Manila Bulletin.
In his address at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Aboitiz apprised American investors of the ongoing efforts of the President “to assure you of the integrity, stability, and solidarity of his administration and of the Philippine economic system ….and to unlock the massive economic potential our country has to offer.”
The chief executive of the Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) claimed that Marcos “has the humility to seek the help of those who know more, in order to provide help to those who need more. This is the kind of decisive, action-oriented leadership we have in our country today. And this is the kind of inclusive and collaborative leadership that will transform the Philippine economy into the Next Big Thing in Asia.”
He, nevertheless, acknowledged that “we live in uncertain times, but in our corner of the world, the Philippines remains one of Asia’s fastest growing economies.”
And with the coronavirus pandemic now inching close into seeing the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel, “we are back on that fast track, accelerating out of recovery mode and onto the promising possibilities of the future. Now more than ever, with the dawn of a new era of digital progress, and an environment that has never been more enabling and conducive for business, the Philippines is ripe and open for investment,” Aboitiz stressed.
He further narrated that “the friendship between our two countries has always been like Wall Street itself, a busy two-way street of economic give-and-take, and we sincerely hope and believe it will remain this way forever.”
Aboitiz thus asserted that “we are here today to support our President in his genuine efforts to revitalize this relationship and remind you of our total commitment to it.”
Among Southeast Asian countries, investment flows in the Philippines had comparatively lagged compared to the investor-favorites of recent years, such as those in Thailand, Vietnam and even Cambodia; as well as the more entrenched markets of Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.
In the business realm of the Philippines, Aboitiz conveyed “I’ve seen many presidents in my lifetime and they all have their strengths. The one we have today has quite cleverly gotten 30 of our country’s busiest CEOs to voluntarily work for him and for our country.”
He noted that in his role as PSAC convenor, “I have witnessed the ability of this man to bring together the best minds in business, use them to find real solutions to real problems, and then immediately implement them like he was flipping a switch.”
Among the high-level businessmen in the US trip delegation of Marcos are: Enrique Razon, chairman and president of International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI); Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman and president of Metro Pacific Investments Corp.; Ramon S. Ang, president and CEO of San Miguel Corporation; Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, chairman of Ayala Corporation; Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of JG Summit Holdings; Hans Sy, director of SM Prime Holdings and Doris Magsaysay-Ho, president and CEO of Magsaysay Group, among others.
Aboitiz stated that the business people “work for him (Marcos), because he listens to reason and gets things done.”