Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. (Philippine Embassy, Washington DC photo)

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. (Philippine Embassy, Washington DC photo)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—A topnotch business delegation from Manila is now in the United States for a week-long investment roadshow that will underscore why the Philippines is now considered the newest darling of international investors.

The Philippine Embassy, which organized the 2ndInvestment Roadshow with the Philippine Consulates General in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, said the private sector-led delegation is in town to try to convince US investors to pour their money into the Philippines.

Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said the delegation led by prominent Filipino economist Dr. Bernardo Villegas will meet with more than 200 senior American corporate and government executives in Los Angeles on 23 and 24 April; in Chicago on 24 April; and in Boston on 26 April.

“With the success of the 1st Investment Roadshow in Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco in 2012, this year’s Investment Roadshow will showcase more positive macroeconomic developments under President Aquino’s good governance agenda,” said Ambassador Cuisia, who is accompanying the business delegation along with Consuls General Maria Hellen Barber-De La Vega in Los Angeles; Leo Herrera-Lim in Chicago; and Mario L. de Leon, Jr. in Boston.

Ambassador Cuisia said that in addition to Dr. Villegas, the other members of the business delegation who will serve as resource persons are Philip Romualdez, President of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines; Isidro Consunji, President of DMCI Holdings; Roberto Dispo, President of First Metro Investment Corporation; Rainerio Borja, President of EGS Philippines; and Jesus Zulueta, Chairman of ZMG Ward Howell.

The other resource persons for the Los Angeles and Boston programs are Dr. Dan Lachica, President of the Semiconductors and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. and Martin Pascual, Board Director of Pascual Laboratories. Noted Filipino-American venture capitalist and technopreneur Dado Banatao will also serve as a resource speaker on “Science & Technology in the Philippines” for the Boston leg of the roadshow.

Aside from business-to-business meetings, the delegation members will make individual presentations that will highlight specific business opportunities for American investors in key sector winners such as Business Process Outsourcing and Knowledge Process Outsourcing; Infrastructure and Real Estate; Financial Services; Manufacturing (Electronic Medical Devices); Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology; and Human Resources.

“The 2013 roadshow is scheduled at a better time, now that the Philippines is considered one of the best performing economies in Asia,” Dr. Villegas said. “The Philippines is now the darling of international investors.”

Aside from bringing more investments to the Philippines, Ambassador Cuisia said he expects the roadshow to further improve trade with the US, the country’s third largest partner. He cited statistics from the US Trade Representative that pointed to growing two-way trade between the two countries—from $13 billion in 2009 to $15 billion in 2010 and $22 billion in 2011.

Consul General Barber Dela Vega said the delegation launched the roadshow in Los Angeles because of its role as the Philippines’ primary gateway for US trade since 1992. She said Los Angeles also handles 25 percent of total US trade with the Philippines, which is also its 16th largest trading partner.

Consul General Herrera-Lim said Chicago was included this year because of the big growth potential of Philippine trade. He said Illinois remains the biggest Philippine export market in the Midwest, with Chicago as the main point of entry for Philippine products.

Consul General De Leon said Boston was chosen for the last leg of the roadshow because Massachusetts is a center for high technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical products and services and could be a major trading and investment partner of the Philippines.

Consul General De Leon said in addition to the participation of Philippine seafood companies in the Annual International Boston Seafood Show, Massachusetts is the Philippines 15th top source of imports in 2012 while the Philippines is the state’s 22nd top export market.

The roadshow comes in the heels of the long-awaited investment-grade rating for the Philippines from Fitch Ratings (from BB+ to BBB), which is expected to further boost capital inflows and spur more investments in the country.

Continued international confidence in the country also prompted The Economist to cite the Philippines as an “emerging giant” in 2013, while in 2012, Foreign Policy magazine ranked the Philippines as the number one “new breakout nation” – an ‘East Asian tiger.’ ###