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04/02/2011: Vice President Binay Dialogues with Business Groups

04 February 2011, Washington, D.C. –Vice President Jejomar C. Binay met with top business leaders of the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) and US Chamber of Commerce (USCOC) last February 3 and 4, respectively, to discuss current Philippine business climate and developments as well as the Aquino administration’s public-private partnership (PPP) program. The Vice President conveyed the Philippine Government’s good governance agenda and the many strategic opportunities for collaboration with key U.S. companies and investors.

“I come to the U.S. capital at a time of great hope and optimism in the Philippines, both in our political and economic life. We announced earlier this week that our GDP grew by 7.3% last year, the most robust growth we have seen in 24 years,” the Vice President remarked.

Ambassador Willy C. Gaa explained that “the roundtable provides an excellent platform to exchange views on opportunities for strengthening US-Philippines trade relations.”

USABC President Alexander Feldman offered his thanks to Vice President Binay and the Philippine business delegation for their willingness to engage American investors on key areas of mutual interest. “U.S. companies are long-term stakeholders in the Philippines, and are excited about what we’ve seen during the early months of the Aquino Administration,” said Feldman, “We look forward to continuing to work with our partners in the Philippines to support expanded investment opportunities and the continued growth of the economy.“

USCOC’s Vice President for Asia, Tami Overby, noted that “the Chamber companies welcomed hearing the Vice President and his colleagues describe some of the new economic initiatives launched by President Aquino’s government in recent months. U.S. company representatives also appreciated the Vice President’s expression of Philippine interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement down the road.” Ms. Overby added that “the Chamber will be happy to work with both governments to help make Philippine membership in the agreement a reality.”

The Philippine business delegation, led by Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) immediate past president and Honorary Chairman, Edgardo Lacson, included Mario Oreta, President of Alphaland Corporation, Luis Virata, Chairman of Coastal Road Corporation, Henry Sy, Jr., CEO and Vice Chairman of SM Development Corporation, Shirley Plaza, President of Woodland Real Estate Development Corporation, Elizaldy Co, Chairman of Sunwest Group Holding Company, Ronald Ang, Vice President of Sunwest Group, Kheng Tek Kong, Adviser to SM Development Corporation, and Jack Arroyo, Director of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. Mayor Jejomar Erwin C. Binay of Makati City, the Philippines’ premier financial district, also joined the business roundtables.

USABC’s member companies that joined the roundtable included the Coca Cola Company, Peregrine, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, AT&T, C&M International, GSK, Medtronic, Deloitte LLP, Oracle, Jacobs, and Eli Lilly and Company, while the member companies of USCOC that participated in the breakfast roundtable were representatives from Boeing, Caterpillar, IBM, and Philip Morris International. END