Sy-Coson and business leaders with BBM at Word Economic Forum

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  • A highpowered group of business leaders accompanied Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong”
    Marcos Jr. or BBM to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum.

    The business delegation includes Teresita SyCoson of SM Investment Corp., a leading Philippine
    company in retail, banking and property.

    SyCoson is the daughter of tycoon Henry Sy. In banking, she is the chairperson of BDO Unibank (BDO),
    the Philippines’ leading bank. She sits as an adviser to the board of directors of SM Prime Holdings, Inc.,
    one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia with interests in malls, residences,
    commercial buildings, leisure and tourism development. SyCoson is also the vice chairperson of SM
    Foundation, Inc. (SMFI).

    The delegation also includes Alliance Global Inc. CEO Kevin Tan.

    In a report by the Manila Times, Tan said Marcos was successful in showcasing the Philippines at the
    World Economic Forum.

    “I believe President Marcos has been very effective in showcasing the Philippines… [and] also
    showcasing that this government is open for business and open to partnerships with other
    governments… as well as with partnerships with [the] private sector…,” Tan said.

    he continued.

    “On a political front, I think… my view is that the President has really shown that the Philippines really is
    a friend to all, and we’re not necessarily leaning more toward the West or the East; that we’re very, very
    balanced in where we are positioned.”

    SyCoson and Tan are among the seven business tycoons who joined Marcos in Davos.

    The others are San Miguel Corp.’s Ramon Ang, Ayala Corp.’s Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, JG Summit
    Holdings Inc.’s Lance Gokongwei, International Container Terminal Services Inc.’s Enrique Razon Jr. and
    Sabin Aboitiz, head of the Marcos government’s Private Sector Advisory Council.

    Aboitiz said in the Manila Times report that the Philippines is “the next big thing in Asia” given the
    country’s rosy economic prospects and reforms being initiated.

    Aboitiz, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Aboitiz Group, made the statement as he
    lauded Marcos’s vision for the country.

    “Like I always say, you know I think [the] Philippines is really gonna be the next big thing in Asia. We are
    very excited to work with the government today because we see that they really appreciate, you know,
    the private sector,” he said during an interview at the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum.

    During the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meet in Davos, Switzerland, Marcos Jr. presented
    the state of the Philippine economy, telling investors about initiatives being undertaken to ensure the
    country’s continued recovery and making it more conducive for business.
    He gave the presentation during the Country Strategy Dialogue at the WEF in Davos, Switzerland on
    Tuesday (January 17), according to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

    “Our strong macroeconomic fundamentals, fiscal discipline, structural reforms and liberalization of key
    sectors instituted over the years have enabled us to withstand the negative shocks caused by the
    pandemic and succeeding economic downturns and map a route toward a strong recovery,” Marcos
    said, as quoted by the PCO.

    Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza AranetaMarcos left for Davos, Switzerland on Sunday morning (January
    15) to attend the 2023 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum from January 15 to 20.

    In his predeparture speech, Marcos vowed to promote the Philippines as a “leader”, “driver of growth”
    and “gateway to the AsiaPacific region.”

    “The Philippines is also being given a unique opportunity to highlight the significant economic gains we
    have achieved in the last part of the year as attested to by upward growth projections of the World Bank
    and the Asian Development Bank,” he said.

    “I will draw attention to our efforts at building resilient infrastructure that bolsters our efforts to
    reinforce robust and resilient supply chains, ensure food security including its critical interlinkages with
    health and nutrition, while furthering climatefriendly, clean and green energy to power the Philippine
    economy,” Marcos said.

    He said he will also share the country’s experience as a model for managing the impact of Covid19.

    “I intend to share our efforts in saving both lives and livelihoods, as well as the peoplecentered next
    steps that we are taking to ensure that we are ready to meet the lingering effects of the pandemic and
    address the occurrence of the next one,” he said.

    Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Carlos Sorreta earlier said Marcos will also make a
    “soft launch” of the Philippines’ proposed sovereign wealth fund (SWF), otherwise known as the
    Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) which is crucial in boosting the Philippine investments and economic

    The House of Representatives on Dec. 15 approved on the third and final reading House Bill 6608 or the
    MIF bill after being certified as urgent by the President.

    Under the proposed measure, the MIF will be financed through pooled funds from stateowned financial
    institutions and state pension funds.

    Marcos will be the only leader of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) who will attend
    the 2023 Annual Meeting of the WEF.

    This year’s annual meeting of the WEF is the forum’s first inperson gathering since 2020.

    The WEF, established in 1971, serves as an international organization for publicprivate cooperation


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