By Jose Cielito Reganit

CULMINATION. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (center), First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, and the rest of the Philippine delegation meet the Filipino community in Zurich, Switzerland on Friday (Jan. 20, 2023) to cap their World Economic Forum participation. Marcos expressed his appreciation for the sacrifices of overseas Filipinos to help their families and at the same time, contribute to the Philippine economy. (Courtesy of BBM Facebook)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. successfully showed to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland that the Philippines is “open for business” and can be a premier investment hub.

In a statement on Saturday, House of Representatives Speaker Martin Romualdez said the Philippine delegation “actually impressed the Davos attendees.”

“(They) demonstrated how the Philippines, the President, his official family, the economic managers, alongside the top businessmen and women, showed a united front to the entire world. It really impressed, and it was not lost in Davos,” Romualdez said.

“We are open for business, we are here listening and we are inviting everyone to see why the Philippines would be the best destination to invest.”

Multinational companies, such as investment giants Morgan Stanley and BlackRock, are already eyeing setting up shop in the country, not only because of the ideal investment climate but also due to the competencies of Filipino workers, he said.

“The list goes on. It’s just an amazing experience to have the Philippines in Davos. It is an event in itself,” he added. “It goes to show you that the Philippines, being the star of this year, especially in this Davos conference, will definitely show the world that not only are we open for business but … under the leadership of President Marcos, leading the Filipinos, the best workers in the world are here.”

The Leyte lawmaker also noted that the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) generated a lot of interest.

The House has already approved the bill while Senator Mark Villar, part of the delegation to Davos, authored a similar measure.

The President made a soft launch of the MIF during the Philippines’ Country Strategy Dialogue on Tuesday.

The proposal to create the MIF for the Philippines gained support from WEF participants as Marcos noted that the fund would be used to diversify the country’s financial portfolio.

“We have to design it very specifically to the Philippine condition. And that’s what the legislators are trying to do now – to make sure na babagay para sa atin (that it will be suitable for us). So that’s the process that we’re undergoing now,” Marcos said in a media interview before departing Switzerland on Friday. (PNA)