Duterte: 'PH is open for business'
MANILA, Philippines – "My message was clear: the Philippines is open for business."
This was one of the statements of President Rodrigo Duterte upon arrival in Davao City early Saturday morning, September 10, after his first international trip to Laos for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, and his working visit to Indonesia.
"I...took the opportunity to address the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit," Duterte said in his arrival statement, referring to his Laos trip.
He added: "My administration will do its part in providing the enabling environment for businesses to thrive and prosper – including micro, small, and medium enterprises."
During the 13th ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Laos, Duterte also vowed to fight terrorism.
"We must redouble our efforts to concentrate on intelligence gathering, prevention, interdiction, arrest, and prosecution," he said.
The summit came days after the deadly September 2 blast in Davao City that killed at least 14 people and wounded more than 70.
Days after, Philippine financial markets saw investors adopting a wait-and-see attitude while monitoring developments on the Davao blast, as well as Duterte's trip to Laos.
While Duterte was out of the country, Philippine equities on Wednesday, September 7, sank to their lowest close in over 5 weeks, with foreign and local investors pulling their money out of the market as they reportedly became anxious over the political and security situation in the country.
However, the latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Consumer Expectations Survey revealed Filipino consumers are more upbeat about the third quarter of 2016 than ever.
Teresita Deveza, the BSP's deputy director of the Department of Economic Statistics, said the Duterte administration's high-profile campaign against drugs and the perceived improvement in the peace and order situation in the country also contributed to increased consumer confidence index – hitting 2.5% from -6.4% in the second quarter of 2016. – Rappler.com