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27/04/2018: PH ENVOY URGES INCREASED US PARTICIPATION IN PHILIPPINE ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-32-2018
27 April 2018

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez underscores opportunities for US partners to take part in the exceptional growth of the Philippine economy during the Global Business@Meridian Breakfast Programat the Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C. on 26 April 2018.

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez was the featured speaker in the Global Business@Meridian Breakfast Programat the Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C. on 26 April 2018. The program was organized by the Meridian Corporate Council, and hosted by Gilead Sciences.

“Since arriving in Washington, I have spoken before a number of audiences and met with many partners. At those discussions, my key message is always this. The Philippine Government is seriously working to make positive and meaningful change for the Filipino people,” Ambassador Romualdez thus began his brief introductory remarks.

He outlined the exceptional economic growth of the Philippines, and the contributions of the manufacturing and services sectors. He shared how the Philippines is aggressively pushing for the transformation of the agriculture sector. He also urged the audience to note the underlying macro-economic strengths that underpin the economy’s performance.

Ambassador Romualdez described the opportunities presented to foreign investors, including American companies, by the Build Build Build infrastructure program; and drew attention to the increased revenues provided by the implementation of the first package of the tax reform program. He likewise assured everyone that the government is serious in its fight against corruption, pursuit to reduce red tape, and efforts to facilitate ease in doing business in the Philippines.

“With current growth rates, we are on track to achieving upper-middle income status by 2022. And as the economy grows, we are aiming to reduce poverty from 21.6% to at least 14% in 2022,” Ambassador Romualdez added.

On general Philippine-US relations, the Ambassador emphasized that the bilateral relationship is strong and stable. He also referred to the military alliance that is long-standing and unshakable.

In a wide-ranging conversation with a diverse group of corporate executives after his remarks, Ambassador Romualdez fielded questions that included ones about the progress of discussions in the proposed bilateral free trade agreement with the United States, the IT/BPM industry, regional development priorities of the administration, the energy and pharmaceutical sectors, educational reforms, and the infrastructure program.

“The Meridian Corporate Council was honored to host Ambassador Romualdez at Meridian’s historic campus. The conversation included a multi-faceted discussion on the ways American companies can increase their investment in the Philippines, the fastest growing and most promising economy among the ASEAN countries. Meridian looks forward to continued partnership with the Embassy of the Philippines and to work towards achieving greater prosperity and security in both the United States and Philippines through mutual understanding, dialogue and exchange.” said Puru P. Trivedi, Director for Corporate Relations of Meridian, in a statement.

He further stated, “The Meridian Corporate Council remains the pre-eminent Forum for Commercial Diplomacy in Washington DC, and Meridian stands ready to help the Embassy of Philippines in its endeavors within the United States.”

“Gilead is committed to addressing unmet needs in communities around the world, and we thank Ambassador Romualdez and Meridian International Center for organizing today’s discussion on U.S.-Philippines relations and for providing us with an opportunity to discuss Gilead’s efforts to enable expanded access to our medication for all people in need in the Philippines,” said Clifford Samuel, Senior Vice President, Access Operations and Emerging Markets, Gilead Sciences.

“We view the Philippines as a country of great opportunity, with a fast-growing economy and a young and aspirational population,” Mr. Samuel added.

The Meridian Corporate Council provides a platform for exchange, dialogue, and networking on key global issues among diplomatic, government, and corporate leaders. Drawn from wide-ranging sectors, Council Members represent major corporations that are leaders in corporate social responsibility and international initiatives.###

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-57-2018
27 April 2018

(L-R) Clifford Samuel, Senior Vice President, Access Operations and Emerging Markets, Gilead Sciences; Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez; Claudio Lilienfeld, Director, Government Affairs, Gilead Sciences; and Ambassador Stuart Holliday, President and CEO of the Meridian International Center.