Aquino to French businessmen: Be part of our story
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Benigno Aquino III praised the business accomplishments of the Philippines under his administration during a trip in Paris, and encouraged French businessmen to invest in the Philippines.
On Thursday, September 18, Aquino told businessmen at the Philippine Business Opportunities Forum about the “renaissance” of the Philippine economy in recent years.
“Since , we have worked tirelessly to show that our country is truly worthy of your consideration. We rewrote the formula for success in the Philippines, from one where patronage and a willingness to bend the rules were necessary, to one that rewarded hard work, innovation, ingenuity, and abiding by the rules,” Aquino said.
“I am here today to invite all of you to be part of our story – take a closer look at our country, study our prospects, and ultimately, take part in the Philippine renaissance that continues to win the admiration of the world. France and the Philippines are no strangers to each other; we only have to open a new, more vibrant chapter in commercial relations to expand on the people-to-people contacts we currently enjoy.”
The President cited the major accomplishments of the Philippines, namely:
- The setting up of the Philippine Business Registry, which cut business registration from 3 months to 3 days
- Zero-based budgeting program to ensure efficient allocation of resources
- Performance-Informed budgeting to emphasize accountability
- Revamp of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that included elimination of the requirement for prospective bidders to submit letter of intent to bid, making it difficult for people to collude in the bidding process
- Economic growth of 7.2% in 2013
- Increase in Philippine Economic Zone Authority investments
- Investment grade declaration by Moody's, Fitch and Standard & Poor's
- Most Improved Country in competitiveness, according to World Economic Forum
- Increase in infrastructure spending from P200 billion 3 years ago to P400 billion
“It is clear: the country formerly known as 'the Sick Man of Asia' is on an upward swing. Already, publications are calling us 'Asia’s Bright Spot' or the 'Next Asian Tiger.' And we are poised to sustain our momentum,” Aquino said.
France is the 3rd stop of Aquino in his European tour. He is headed for Germany, his last stop in his 4-nation tour, before he heads to the United States.
After his speech, Aquino and his economic cluster ministers met with the Ayala-Bouygues-Alstom group, which is in charge of the LRT 1 South Extension project.
According to Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma, Christian Gazaignes, chief executive of Bouygues Travaux Publics told the President that “the firming up of the project culminates more than two decades of his company’s efforts to package and participate in a Philippine transport infrastructure project.”
The Alstom groups also expressed interest in expanding its involvement beyond the LRT 1 south extension project and plans to establish a Manila-based affiliate.
Also in France was the Ayala-Egis group, accompanied by Fernando Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Corporation and Erramon Aboitiz of Aboitiz Ventures. Egis said it hopes to partiicpate in major water supply projects that will address the long-term water needs of Metro Manila and Luzon. – Rappler.com