With the recent conclusion of the APEC Summit, the cost-benefits of hosting it here in the Philippines are now being weighed.
The usual naysayers are bashing the activity as useless grandstanding to the tune of P26 billion of taxpayers’ money. Some sectors are making a call for an audit on how the money was spent.
Local business leaders, on the other hand, have expressed confidence on the positive impact that hosting the regional meeting would have on the country and its economy.
Here are some of the upbeat views, expressed a few days before the conference began, as reported by Rappler.com.
From Guillermo Luz, Co-Chair, National Competitive Council
“The Philippines will be the world’s biggest stage for one week. APEC summit is a good networking event. If I take a look at the level of interest, over thousands of those who registered or 85% of them are from overseas.”
“They represent all 20 other member economies…. Many of them are first-timers here. I see large delegations from certain economies, like China, the US. We also have respectable size group from ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), so I’d like to think there is interest in finding out what’s going on in the Philippines.
In the weeks leading up to the high-profile economic leaders’ meeting on November 18 to 19, the Philippines has initiated to make the region bike-friendly, scale up disaster preparedness, and help MSMEs secure links to global value chain, among others.”
“It’s just a great exchange of ideas between ministers and CEOs. I think it’s rare to see that happen in an almost informal atmosphere. We discuss heavy topics but not in presentations, long scripts, or memos read to each other. It’s just a good conversation we found of great value,”
From Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Chairman and CEO, Ayala Corporation
‘The importance of APEC is learning from each other…on bringing down tariffs, making sure that things won’t get in the way when it comes to facilitating free flow of goods. Everybody wants to strive for a higher growth agenda. That dialogue is alive and kicking.”
“What APEC and ABAC are trying to do is set a tone for inclusive growth wherein an average entrepreneur will have the confidence to compete in a bigger market than its local boundaries.”
From Tony Tan Caktiong, Jolibee founder and chairman
“Over the last many years, we are in the news about being the darling of investments. The Philippines is growing; this is why there are many first-timers visiting the country. CEOs are looking for opportunities and investments, and hopefully, the Philippines will now be one of their places.”
Photo: Guillermo Luz, from www.competitive.org.ph