MANDALUYONG CITY–During the Rotary Zone 10A Public Image Congress held in Shangri-La Manila on 12 August 2023, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual emphasized that hope and resiliency are the enabling fundamentals that strengthen the Philippines as it pursues inclusive growth. He stressed that these are vital as the country pursues robust economic growth and expansion.  

Secretary Pascual said, “Hope is not just an idea for us Filipinos; it is our lifeblood. It fuels our resilience in the face of adversity, our creativity in the face of challenges, and our unity in the face of diversity. The story of the Philippines is a tale of relentless hope. Indeed, our nation has had its share of trials. We’ve faced economic hardships, weathered natural disasters, and endured health crises like the recent pandemic. Yet, our undying spirit as a people remains unbroken.” 

The DTI Chief added that fostering collaborations between the public and private sectors allow the creation of a stronger and more resilient Philippines. Amidst changing geopolitical and economic landscape, he also underlined the benefits of forging international partnerships to promote an enabling business environment that will create high-quality and better-paying jobs for Filipinos.  

With this year’s theme of “Unveiling Undaunted Hope,” the Rotary Public Image Congress aimed to help participants gain a deeper understanding of the importance of public image. Following the recent global shifts and conflicts, Rotary members around the world were called upon to respond with urgency to create and spread hope around the world. 

Working on the Department’s mandate of ensuring Trabaho, Negosyo at Konsyumer, the trade and industry chief elaborated on the potential of the Philippine economy to be globally competitive. With the DTI remaining at the forefront of fostering trade and investment promotion, Secretary Pascual cited seven factors that are critical to creating a brighter future for Filipinos. 

These include (1) a large and growing population with an expanding middle class; (2) a young, dynamic, skilled workforce and budding entrepreneurs; (3) the country’s strategic geographical location; (4) the abundant natural resources; (5) the backbone of our economy¬–the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs); the advantage of the global trend of decentralization; and, (7) the implementation of reforms to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive. 

In closing his speech, Secretary Pascual encouraged attendees to seize the opportunity to contribute to the country’s aim of creating a better, kinder, and more inclusive nation. He stressed, “The Philippines is a nation built on community, so our economic growth must also be community-centered. We must harness the spirit of bayanihan, where everyone contributes to and benefits from the success of the whole. In nurturing this spirit of collective effort and shared rewards, we can truly build an economy that works for all.” ♦

Date of release: 14 August 2023