Sunday, 9 May 2010

Great expectations

(On Friday, May 7, 2010, an advertising supplement in the International Herald Tribune featured the Philippines. The supplement, produced by Intercom UK Ltd, summarizes the content as follows: The country has begun the decade by preparing for historic, open elections that will pave the way for a new administration to build on the nation's ideal location for diverse business ventures.) What is striking about the supplement is that it does not feature the usual statements by government officials in country advertising supplements of this type, but highlight the achievements and high expectations of the nation's most prominent Filipino-Chinese businessmen. Their hard and smart work, their can-do attitude, their love for the country are certainly worth emulating. Below are excerpts from the main article)

On May 10, Filipinos will head to the ballot boxes and make electoral history. For the first time, local and national leaders will be chosen through a fully automated polling system intended to herald a new era of politics in the Philippines, fre from the ballot tampering and fraud allegations that have marred elections here in the past, whether for village chieftains or for the nation's presidency.

...

Since President Macapagal Arroyo took office in 2001, economic growth in the Philippines has averaged 4.5 percent per year. Last year, GDP grew by just under 1 percent, but the economy has actually weathered the 2008-09 global recession better than its regional peers, helped in part by a lower dependence on exports, large remittances by an estimated 4 to 5 million overseas Filipino workers, and a growing business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. New developments such as the Bonifacio Global City have attracted many multinationals here.

On January 1, free trade agreements came into effect that will boost international business in the Philippines. The China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) represents the world's third largest FTA in terms of trade volume after the EU and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the largest population at 1.9 billion. According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, CAFTA is billed as having 1.7 million consumers, with a combined gross domestic produce of $2 trillion and total trade of $1.3 trillion. Additionally, the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) came into force at the beginning of the year, which contains measures to improve business flows and promote cooperation between the nations in a broad range of economic areas of mutual interest.

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