ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Aquino praised for good handling of PH economy
Beijing, China – President Aquino got good reviews from business executives and economists here for his “remarkable” handling of the Philippine economy amid a slowing global economy.
Moody’s Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Raymond McDaniel Jr. on Sunday praised Aquino’s economic stewardship that have resulted in several ratings upgrades in a short period of time.
McDaniel paid a courtesy call on President Aquino at the Philippine Embassy Sunday afternoon where they talked about the latest economic conditions
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacrierda said during the meeting McDaniel complimented the President’s remarkable performance and for the positive outlook that the country continues to maintain amid a slowing global economy.
Moody’s Corporation is the parent company of Moody’s Investors Service and Moody’s Analytics.
McDaniel, likewise congratulated Aquino for several positive credit ratings from different agencies around the world, including investment grade ratings from Moody’s and two other major debt watchers.
In 2013, the Philippines secured investment grade sovereign credit ratings from all three major international credit rating agencies – Fitch Ratings, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s – for the first time in its credit history.
All three credit watchdogs gave the Philippines the minimum investment grade last year, while S&P followed the move with another notch of upgrade earlier this year to “BBB.”
According to Lacierda, the President responded by saying that he has a good Cabinet, whose members make personal sacrifices to serve the country.
During the meeting, Aquino also outlined the government’s targets for the ‘Yolanda’ rehabilitation and its policy of building back better to break the cycle of destruction and rehabilitation in vulnerable communities.
He told McDaniel that the Philippine government is doing everything to ensure that the country remains Ebola-free.
“In closing, Moody’s extended its compliments to the President for the positive outlook that the Philippines continues to maintain amidst a slowing global economy,” Lacierda said.
In a Moody’s report released in September, the debt-watcher, known as the most conservative among three major credit rating agencies, kept its Baa3 positive outlook credit rating on the Philippines.
“We see moderate risk exposure in Malaysia (A3 positive), Philippines, and Thailand (Baa1 stable), but these would be insufficient to provoke major sovereign credit distress even if global liquidity conditions were to sour significantly,” the Moody’s report said.
Aside from McDaniel, Mexican economist and diplomat Jose Angel Gurria praised President Aquino instituting reforms in the Philippines, particularly in the areas of gender equality and investments.
Speaking before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit, Gurria, who is also the current secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said Aquino made a big contribution to the Philippines’ competitiveness.
Gurria noted income gap between male and women during the Aquino administration has improved, investments increased and implemented several innovated policies aimed at improving people’s lives.
“We have a very challenging scenario [in Asia-Pacific region] and the question of investment and innovation become critical. Now, I have to say here President Aquino has a done great job in this score. Actually, it’s very impressive,” Gurria said.
The OECD secretary general added the Philippines’ global ranking in the doing business during President Aquino’s term “went up just like a rocket. That’s doing very well.”
Gurria gave his praises in the presence of President Aquino during the APEC CEO Summit on economic reforms.
BILATERAL WITH VIETNAM
On the sidelines of the APEC Leaders’ Meetings late Sunday, Lacierda said President Aquino met his Vietnamese counterpart, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang at the Philippine Embassy in Beijing where Vietnam reaffirmed its economic and political cooperation with the Philippines.
Lacierda said the two Asian leaders noted the numerous productive exchanges between PH and Vietnam and reaffirmed their strong friendship amid the tensions over the West Philippine Sea.
The Philippines and Vietnam had a lukewarm partnership until China raises its claims over the West Philippine sea. Since then, the two Southeast Asian nations forged alliance to bolster their strategic economic and political cooperation.
“The two leaders tasked their respective foreign ministers to begin work on a roadmap towards a strategic partnership,” the Lacierda said.
Global healthcare leader Sanofi S.A also paid a courtesy call on the President at the PH embassy where the a multinational pharmaceutical company informed Aquino that they are developing a dengue vaccine that will hopefully be out by 2015.
Sanofi, according to Lacierda also complimented the President’s investment in health.
“The President emphasized the importance of preventive care over curative care, and that investing in health is investing in human capital, which provides for sustainable economic development,” he added.
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