DAVOS-KLOSTERS, SWITZERLAND— The Philippine delegation sustained its engagements at the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) through its active participation in WEF-organized sessions and one-on-one meetings with international institutions and potential investors into the Philippines. 

On 17 January 2023, Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual joined the CEO Dialogue on the Philippines, an invitation-only informal dialogue with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and other members of the economic team such as Secretaries of Finance and Socioeconomic Planning. During the CEO Dialogue, Secretary Pascual discussed the country’s trade and investment priorities aimed at uplifting the lives of Filipinos and attracting strategic trade and investments in the Philippines, especially in key sectors such as renewable energy, high-tech manufacturing, and innovation. 

He stated that, “To further attract investments in the Philippines, it is imperative that we facilitate industrial transformation that will complement our economic recovery initiatives. We at DTI consider science, technology, and innovation, including digital technologies as our main drivers. STI will facilitate the development of new goods, services, and even industries; increase production efficiency, and strengthen industrial linkages.” 

On the same day, Secretary Pascual also participated and spoke at the “MSME’s Going Global” session, where he shared the country’s initiatives to help micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) improve productivity and increase market reach through financing programs, digital tools, and technology. 

“One of our top priorities is to usher MSMEs’ digital transformation. Digitalized MSMEs will be able to reduce operational costs, reach larger markets, and increase productivity. Aside from this, we also encourage consumers to patronize our Go Lokal project, which also enables MSMEs to have a wider market reach. As MSMEs grow, they contribute to our overall economic development, that is why it is important that the government empowers them”, he said. 

Among the key speakers during the session is Intentionality President and Founding Partner Therese Fernandez-Ruiz, the person behind the brand R2R (Rags2Riches). After the launch of this initiative at WEF Davos 2023, a steering community will be created by WEF in advancing the goal of helping MSMEs across the globe access new markets and opportunities. 

Further, on the sidelines of the WEF-organized sessions, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and Secretary Fred Pascual met with Mr. Gary Nagle, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Glencore, to discuss the company’s interest to expand mining and processing operations in the Philippines. Glencore, a Swiss multinational company, is one of the largest and globally diversified natural resource companies in the world. They see the Philippines as a potential partner to process nickel and copper resources responsibly and sustainably for use in electric vehicle batteries and energy storage units, among others. Likewise, President Marcos Jr. and the country’s economic managers met with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva. *

Date of release: 19 January 2023