BUSINESS DIALOGUE OPENS DISCUSSION ON EVOLVING US-PHILIPPINES RELATIONS

On February 21, the Philippines-US Business Council (PUSBC) hosted a private sector Business Dialogue with the US-Philippines Society delegation, who were in Manila for a 3-Day Board of Directors Programme. The US-Philippines Society, launched in 2012, is a non-profit organisation that seeks to promote trade, investment and economic ties, and further cement already strong cultural, touristic, and people-to-people linkages between the US and the Philippines. The Dialogue, held at the Peninsula Hotel and organized in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines and the Makati Business Club, provided a platform for American and Filipino executives to assess 2017 bilateral investment opportunities. In his opening remarks, Amb. Jose L. Cuisia Jr., Chairman of the PUSBC, highlighted change as an opportunity to further develop ties between the US and the Philippines. “At present, “change” has become the overarching theme driving today’s geopolitical and economic conditions. Today’s dialogue takes advantage of this opportune time to discuss the role that these changes play in the evolving US-Philippine foreign relations.”
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PANEL 1: VIEWS FROM WASHINGTON. (L-R) Amb. John Negroponte, Amb. Jose L. Cuisia Jr., Amb. Thomas Hubbard

    In a panel entitled “Views From Washington”, Former U.S. Ambassadors to the Philippines John Negroponte and Thomas Hubbard called for patience as the Trump Administration reaches "cruising altitude" and clarifies trade and strategic policy directions.
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PANEL 2: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IN DOING BUSINESS IN THE PHILIPPINES. (L-R) Amb. Jose E.B. Antonio, Jose Concepcion III, Ebb Hinchliffe, Dr. Cielito Habito, Manuel V. Pangilinan

  Dr. Cielito Habito, former Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning and current Chief-of-Party of the Trade-Related Assistance for Development (TRADE) Project, presented a comprehensive look at prospects and opportunities for doing business in the Philippines. His presentation was followed by a panel discussion, led by Manuel V. Pangilinan (USPS Co-Chair), Amb. Jose E. B. Antonio (Special Envoy to the US), and Jose Concepcion III (ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman). The discussion identified sectors ripe for investment and factors underpinning prospects for sustained growth and development. The USPS Delegation’s Board of Directors Programme concluded on February 23, and included a legislative forum with key representatives from Congress, an economic forum with the Economic Ministers of the current Cabinet, and a meeting in Malacañang with President Rodrigo R. Duterte.