An overflow crowd greeted the bullish message of leading representatives of the Philippine private sector including the economy, capital markets, mining, infrastructure, real estate, human resources and outsourcing with enthusiasm on January 26, 2012, in a forum hosted by the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce and the Philippine Consulate General and sponsored by EisnerAmper, a top international accounting firm.
“The Philippine economy is growing at a high rate and will continue to progress,” said Dr. Bernie Villegas, one of the country’s most respected economists, as he marshaled fact after fact showing the economy’s progress.
Sid Consunji, president of DMCI Holdings, spoke about the opportunities for foreign investors in infrastructure projects, real estate and government-sponsored public private partnership projects such as airports, roads and bridges.
Bien Araw, Senior Vice President of Benguet Mining, told the audience, which included many private equity fund and bank representatives, that mining is open to 100 percent foreign ownership and the Philippines is one of the most mineralized countries in the world, rich in gold, copper and nickel.
Gigi Zulueta, Asia Pacific Director of personnel firm ZMG War Howell, described how the Philippines has captured the number one spot in call centers and is making inroads in other areas such as animation, legal documentation, editing, accounting and other knowledge-based and higher value outsourcing sectors.
“People were encouraged and engaged. They stated till the end which is rare for a New York audience,” said PhilAm Chamber President Butch Meily.
Others who spoke included Consul General Mario de Leon and the Chamber’s past-President and long-time Board member, John J.P. Howley. Mr. Howley commented, “The diversity of the Philippine economy and the very sound government fiscal policies have created the foundation for sustained growth. It is a very exciting time for US-Philippine business relations.”
Founded in 1920, the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce is one of the oldest bilateral business organizations in the United States. It has played a key role in promoting Philippine-U.S. business ties over its more than 90-year history. For more information about the Chamber, please go to www.philamchamber.org.