Recto Hosts Global Leaders at WEF Philippines Roundtable

Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto warmly welcomed global leaders and decision makers who flew all the way to Manila to participate in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Country Roundtable on the Philippines and shared a glimpse of the country’s promising growth journey during a dinner reception on March 18, 2024.

With the theme, “Forging A Sustainable Future for the Philippines”, the Roundtable aims to facilitate insightful discussions with international business leaders and build partnerships to support the country’s vision of becoming a dynamic and resilient economy that is driven by innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategic collaborations on the global stage.

The Roundtable is a joint effort between the Government of the Philippines and the WEF and is the first high-level roundtable to be convened in the Asia Pacific Region since the pandemic.

“The timing of our gathering could not have been more auspicious. These are very exciting times for the Philippines, and we want you to witness firsthand our promising growth story and become part of it,” Secretary Recto said in his remarks.

The Finance Chief showcased the Philippines’ stellar growth performance, solid credit profile, and steady fiscal consolidation as manifestations of its fiscal strength and economic resilience despite fierce global headwinds.

The Philippine economy grew the fastest in the ASEAN region in 2023, expanding by 5.6%. Multilateral organizations affirm the strength of the Philippine economy, expecting it to maintain its position as a frontrunner in ASEAN with a projected GDP growth of 5.8% to 6.3% in 2024.

“We consider this a strong vote of confidence in our ability to orchestrate a rapid economic expansion in the years to come,” Secretary Recto said.

WEF President Borge Brende also recognized the Philippines as the fastest-growing economy in the region, saying, “World Economic Forum economists have looked at the prospects—the prospects are very, very promising.”

Secretary Recto underscored that the optimism on the Philippine economy has a compelling basis, for it is underpinned by a proven track record of fiscal discipline and a long list of competitive advantages, such as its young demographic profile, favorable investment climate, business-friendly reforms, and ready-to-implement high-impact infrastructure flagship projects.

“We will illustrate how the Philippines is steadily advancing to become a global superpower. I trust that our discussions will swing wide open the doors to new opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships,” he told the business leaders.

Among the participants of the WEF Roundtable on the Philippines are top global executives from the private sector’s energy, infrastructure, finance, banking, telecommunications, and marketing industries.

The dinner reception was hosted by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Eli Remolona, Jr.

On the part of the Philippine government, the dinner reception was attended by House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs (OSAPIEA) Frederick Go, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, and Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla.