21 June 2010

Forum to help Noynoy set economic blueprint

A new economic forum which aims to help presumptive president-elect, Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, achieve the country’s much needed economic progress once he assumes the presidency is being organized in coordination with foreign business chambers.

The American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) and the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC), together with businessman Mike Macapagal, have agreed to put together a conference where businessmen will help create a blueprint for the country’s economic progress under the Aquino administration.

“In organizing an economic forum for foreign and local businessmen, we hope to provide a venue where all businessmen are welcome to pitch in their ideas on what policies, programs and issues that the incoming administration needs to prioritize,” said Macapagal, who secured the support of US-based Filipinos for the Aquino presidency.

As the lead organizer, Macapagal, who owns and manages the largest and the only Filipino-owned escrow company in Northern California, is now laying down the groundwork for the economic forum tentatively scheduled to be held in September of this year at the Subic Bay Convention Center in Olongapo City.

The forum will tackle what the foreign chambers consider the “Big Seven” industries. These are agribusiness, business process outsourcing, creative industries, infrastructure, manufacturing and logistics, mining, and tourism which have the aggregate potential to bring in US$75 billion in foreign direct investments (FDI) and 10 million jobs over the next 10 years.

(Macapagal, who hails from Subic, said the forum plans to open a dialogue between local locators and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) to address concerns, especially ridding SBMA of graft and corruption.)

“All local and foreign business groups that have a stake in the Philippines should make their presence felt at the forum. The synergy of ideas that they could bring to the table would truly be invaluable,” said Macapagal. (Freddie C. Velez, Manila Bulletin)