MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the World Economic Forum (WEF) will host a “country strategy dialogue” for the Philippines to discuss its economic plans and attract foreign investments.
Marcos made the announcement during a brief speech at the Villamor Air Base before departing for the forum in Davos, Switzerland. The upcoming WEF forum will be the first to be held in-person since 2020.
“The World Economic Forum is hosting a Country Strategy Dialogue for us where we are given the opportunity to promote the Philippines as leader and driver of growth and a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region,” Marcos said.
The Philippine leader said he planned to use the platform to highlight the country’s plans for developing “resilient infrastructure,” that would reinforce supply chains, and strengthen food security. Marcos said he will also tackle the country’s strategy for responding to COVID-19 and its lingering effects as well as its efforts to prepare for the next health crisis.
Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Marcos also planned to “soft launch” his administration’s proposed Maharlika Investment Fund at the WEF.
The proposed Maharlika Investment Fund is a sovereign wealth fund that will source its seed capital from state-owned banks and be used to invest in big-ticket infrastructure projects or the power sector. It hurdled the Marcos-allied supermajority-dominated House in December 2022, but has not been tackled in the Senate.
Owing to this, Marcos will only be giving an “introduction” of its concept, said the DFA. Joining Marcos at Davos were other government officials from his Cabinet and business leaders.
The DFA earlier said Marcos will be the only world leader from Southeast Asia and only one of two from Asia who has confirmed attendance to the WEF.
Marcos’ trip to Davos for the WEF will be his eighth official work trip as President. The President has been to seven different countries in his first seven months of office, most recently flying to Beijing for a 48-hour state visit to China last January 3 to 5. – with reports from Bea Cupin/Rappler.com