By Jose Cielito Reganit

Speaker Martin Romuladez (File photo)

MANILA – House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Monday said he is confident that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. would be able to successfully introduce the country’s sovereign wealth fund, articulate his administration’s gains and promote the Philippines as an investment hub at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

“In his previous participation in various global fora, President Marcos has displayed an excellent ability to articulate the interests of the Philippines as well as the significant gains achieved under his administration and the country’s direction for future growth,” Romualdez said.

“I’m confident he would do the same in the WEF, particularly in introducing the Maharlika Wealth Fund to the global stage and in helping our local business leaders explore investment opportunities for the Philippines,” said Romualdez, who is part of the official delegation of President Marcos to the WEF.

Romualdez was instrumental in arranging the meeting between Marcos and WEF founder Dr. Klauss Schwab on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits held in Cambodia where the latter invited the President to the Davos meeting.

The meeting at Davos will see over 50 heads of state taking part, along with global business leaders, celebrities and prominent social activists.

In an interview during his flight bound for Switzerland, Marcos told members of the Philippine media that WEF presents an excellent opportunity to soft launch the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) and promote the Philippines as an investment hub.

The House of Representatives approved last Dec. 16 House Bill (HB) 6608, creating the MIF bill with the solid support of 90 percent, or 282 out of the 312 members, of the chamber who were also officially named as co-authors of the measure.

Romualdez, who is the principal author of the measure, assured that HB 6088 includes adequate safeguards against possible abuse and fraud.

“The proposed sovereign wealth fund will help President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. keep the country on the high-growth path. We want to assure the public that the management of the fund will follow best practices and the principles of transparency and accountability,” he stressed.

In the same interview, Marcos said a new format adopted for the Davos forum this year opens a wider latitude to communicate the government’s effort to attract foreign investments into the county.

In addition, the President said the WEF will also provide Philippine business leaders the opportunity to engage with their counterparts from various parts of the world to explore possible investment deals.

He noted that most of the time the best deals are done outside of the forum, in particular during “pull away” engagements where certain parties may conduct talks on the sidelines to discuss business opportunities.

“So, we will have a lot of those because there are certain businessmen (attending the WEF), who our own business group want to engage,” the President said.

The President said he and members of the Cabinet in his delegation could assist Filipino businessmen to facilitate such engagements.

“I think that’s where, besides the fora, a lot of work will be done, in the sidelines as usual,” Marcos said. (PNA)