SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
SPEAKER Martin G. Romualdez on Tuesday said the participation of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. in the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting in Thailand this week presents even more opportunities for the country’s continued economic growth.
The Speaker, who had accompanied President Marcos at the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summits in Cambodia, will also be a part of the official delegation to APEC of President Marcos.
“The APEC Summit is a step up because there are more developed countries involved,” Romualdez said during his birthday lunch with House reporters.
APEC is an inter-governmental forum for 21-member economies in the Pacific Rim that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
The 21-member economies of APEC are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.
Romualdez stressed the importance of personal engagements and developing close relations with leaders of other countries or economies.
He said we are fortunate to have “a very able statesman” in President Marcos who is very popular in the international community.
Besides, Romualdez cited the higher-than-expected 7.6 percent economic growth the Philippines posted for the third quarter, reduction in the unemployment rate, a young population, and the dollar remittances of our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), as among the factors President Marcos can utilize to promote our country as an attractive investment or tourism destination, as well as a good trade partner.
“So I think now is the time to herald that the Philippines is doing well, its economy is doing well, and now is the time to invest in the Philippines so that we get more foreign direct investments for the capital that we need to generate more jobs for and livelihood for the Filipinos and to bring about a stronger and more vibrant economy so that all Filipinos have a safe and comfortable life,” he added.
Citing his experience in the recent ASEAN summits, Romualdez said it presented opportunities for engagement with his counterparts in the legislative bodies of the member countries.
For instance, Romualdez noted that it was during the bilateral meeting between the Philippines and Vietnam when the visit to the Philippines of the leader of Vietnam’s National Assembly, reportedly among the top contenders to be the next Prime Minister of his country, was announced.
“So these types of engagements mean a lot. Because when you have a personal engagement with these leaders it is easier to communicate, coordinate, to support each other on various sectors---whether its economic, trade, or inter-parliamentary relations---that promotes better harmony,” Romualdez said.
Noting that the economy has become global, Romualdez said that it would be to the advantage of the Philippines to promote better trade with other countries, which can be achieved by forging a good trade agreement with partner economies.
“And that is usually wrought by policies mandated by the heads of state but usually forged by legislation. So these types of engagements and visits are very good,” Romualdez said.(END)