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21/12/2018: PH ENVOY CAPPED 2018 ECON DIPLOMACY PROGRAM WITH POTOMAC EXCHANGE

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-87-2018
21 December 2018

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez updates US business community on the Philippine economy at a high-level lunch organized by the Potomac Exchange on 19 December 2019. (Photo by Lawrence Levin, Potomac Exchange)

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez concluded his economic diplomacy agenda for 2018 at a high-level lunch with the US business community organized by the Potomac Exchange in Washington, D.C. on 19 December 2018.

Addressing a select group of senior executives from leading US global companies, many of whom have a long relationship with the Philippines such as Fluor Corporation, The Coca Cola Company, FedEx, Oracle and Smithfield Foods, Ambassador Romualdez provided a comprehensive update on the Philippine economy, such as its continued strong performance; and on key developments relating to the Build Build Build infrastructure program and continuing efforts at comprehensive tax reform.

The Ambassador’s comments also touched on the recent passage of the US BUILD Act, and how it is hoped to be able to assist US companies engage in infrastructure projects not only in the Philippines but in the rest of the ASEAN region.

The wide-ranging discussion after the Ambassador’s remarks included a robust exchange of ideas on smart cities such as the Clark Green City project; Philippine initiatives in the health sector including efforts to achieve universal healthcare; and governance issues involving anti-money laundering and migration policies.

“Ambassador Romualdez provided an informative update on government initiatives to provide greater opportunities for American investment in the Philippines. Representatives from leading US companies welcomed his presentation and, drawing on their experience, cited the many advantages of doing business in the Philippines in areas of insurance, technology, health, infrastructure, banking and others. There was optimism for continuing progress in 2019, including broad support for a successful FTA negotiation,” noted US-Philippines Society Executive Director Hank Hendrickson who was also at the lunch.

“We were very pleased to provide a venue for Ambassador Romualdez and the Potomac Exchange members to engage in a lively discussion on a broad range of topics of interest to the diverse companies present.  The intimate setting allowed Ambassador Romualdez and the members to connect, discuss priorities, share relevant information and observations, and establish substantive business relationships,” said Katherine H. Moss, President of the Potomac Exchange, after the lunch.

Ambassador Romualdez also took the occasion to emphasize to the senior corporate executives around the table that Philippines-US relations today is strong and stable.

“The friendship between our two nations could only be reinvigorated and made stronger with the recent return of the Balangiga Bells to the Philippines. I was honored to join the President in Eastern Samar, just last weekend, and to hear the bells toll once again, but this time with the sweet chimes of peace and friendship,” Ambassador Romualdez told his audience.

In turn, most of those around the table did not only speak of their strong business ties with the Philippines, but also of their recognition that the ties that bind the two countries are long-standing, deep, and extensive.

The Potomac Exchange is a private membership organization of executives from select, leading global firms that provides unique opportunities to meet and talk with recently accredited foreign ambassadors. ###

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-190-2018
21 December 2018

Ambassador Romualdez provided a comprehensive briefing on the Philippine economy at the Potomac Exchange luncheon held on 19 December 2018. (Photo by Lawrence Levin, Potomac Exchange)

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-191-2018
21 December 2018

Ambassador Romualdez greets Prosser Stirling, Oracle’s Senior Director for International Relations and Government Affairs during the Potomac Exchange luncheon held on 19 December 2018. Also shown in photo is Katherine Moss, President of Potomac Exchange. (Photo by Lawrence Levin, Potomac Exchange)

PHOTO RELEASE
WDC-192-2018
21 December 2018

Ambassador Romualdez greets Greg Stofko, Managing Director for International Regulatory Affairs of FedEx; Looking on is Mike Skahill, Vice President for Government Affairs of Smithfield Foods. (Photo by Lawrence Levin, Potomac Exchange)