Aquino to Korean businessmen: Be part of our continued success-A A +A
Friday, October 18, 2013
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III invited Friday businessmen from South Korea to invest in the Philippines in order to be part of the "country's continued success."
Aquino made the invitation as he addressed the Korean business community in a luncheon during the second day of his state visit in the East Asian country.
"There is a rising tide in the Philippines, fueled by a growing segment of the population that has the skills to drive businesses, and the spending power to spur profits. Today, we invite you to ride this wave: To invest in the Philippines and become part of our country’s continued success," he said in a speech.
Aquino said that there was a research that supports optimism on the Philippines, which is now referred as the "New Asian Tiger, or as Asia’s Bright Spot" from being a "Sick Man of Asia."
"In 2015, the Philippines will enter a demographic sweet spot, with the bulk of our people hitting working age—a professional, loyal, English-speaking work force that can surely contribute to the growth of investors," he cited.
This situation, one that is conducive to business, will remain for the next 40 years, he said.
He also disclosed that by 2019, the Philippines will enter another sweet spot with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita to hit around $6,000.
"This middle income sweet spot means a more empowered consumer base, as proven by other countries that hit an inflection point in the buying power of their citizens. Studies foresee that in the next fifteen years or so, four out of five Filipinos can hit middle class status if we continue on our current trajectory," the President said.
He noted that the international community has taken note of the Philippine transformation.
He cited the 26 notches improvement of the Philippines from 85th to 59th for the past three years in the competitiveness rankings of the World Economic Forum.
He also cited the investment grade status given by three renowned credit ratings agencies in the world and the 29 notches jump in the Transparency International Corruption Index, from 134th in 2010 to 105th in 2013.
"In the ten years before we took office, the average GDP growth of the country was 4.7 percent. Since we took over, growth has averaged 6.3 percent yearly, and over 7 percent in these last four quarters. This, despite the pervading uncertainty in the global economy," Aquino also said.
"We know that this is not a fluke; we are, in fact, looking forward to sustaining the Philippines’ economic momentum—and the research supports our optimism," he stressed.
The President is set to return to Manila late Friday from his two-day state visit to South Korea. (SDR/Sunnex)