MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde finally met.
In a 40-minute meeting on January 24 (Swiss time) on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland, Aquino and Lagarde "exchanged pleasantries," according to Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ramon Carandang.
Aquino missed Lagarde when she visited Manila in November 2012.
“It was basically a courtesy call. They exchanged pleasantries," Carandang told members of the Philippine media.
Carandang said Aquino thanked Lagarde for her confidence in the Philippines and shared his government’s efforts to wisely spend resources and level the playing field to encourage more investors.
He also commended the IMF chief. “Ms. Lagarde has a tough job because it is her job to convince world leaders to make difficult choices. He commended her for being able to do that in such an effective way,” Carandang shared.
Lagarde, on the other hand, informed the President that the IMF had upgraded the growth projections for the Philippines.
On January 23, the multilateral lender's representatives announced in Manila that it raised its 2013 economic growth forecast for the Philippines to 6% from 4.8%.
“They (IMF) said that based on their analysis, things were looking very positive for the Philippines, and that they were confident that the growth targets could be attained, given the momentum that we‘ve had,” Carandang added.
Joining the meeting were Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Budget Secretary Butch Abad, Secretary Cesar Purisima, Secretary Gregory Domingo, Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras and Socio-economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan. - Rappler.com
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