re Atty. Kristine Alcantara and Gretchen Aquino.
Below, ASec Luis Cruz speaking. Among the things he highlighted was that the PH is well positioned to seize opportunities in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) because (a) we have the fastest GDP growth in the region, (b) we are the 2nd largest in population, next to Indonesia, (c) we have the youngest workforce, average age of only 23.3 years, second only to Laos, and (d) consistent upward trajectory in global trade.
He added that based on the (HSBC?) study, the PH is expected to leapfrog to become the 16th largest economy in the world by 2050. Possible.
Good audience, After the two speakers from DFA and Tony spoke, there was an open forum. I spoke, introduced myself as a Fellow of the new regional think tank, South East Asia Network for Development (SEANET), based in Kuala Lumpur, but I am Manila-based. I mentioned that on April 22-24, or three days before the ASEAN Summit in KL, there will be a big gathering of international and ASEAN-based NGOs called the ASEAN Civil Society Conference (ACSC) and the groups are mostly anti-liberalization, anti-deregulation, anti-privatization and anti-corporate and government-led trade and investments. SEANET exists to help balance this negative perspective by many NGOs and CSOs about trade and economic integration in the region.
During the networking, before the forum proper, I met a number of old and new friends Like here, from left: me, Erna Herlina of Indonesian Embassy, Larissa Jefferson of Australian Embassy, and Gene Perez of IRRI (formerly with IPO PH). Gene is a friend way back in the 80s in UP Diliman undergrad.
The three partners sitting -- Alcantara, Abad, Aquino -- and their staff, standing.
Thanks again AAA for that wonderful evening of networking and forum.
Free Trade 42: ASEAN Trade and Unilateral Liberalization Challenge, January 23, 2015
AEC 3: PCCI Muntinlupa Forum on ASEAN Integration, February 22, 2015
AEC 4: Malaysia's MITI Presentation, March 19, 2015
AEC 5: Aviation, Telecom, Mobile Money and Retail in the ASEAN, March 23, 2015
AEC 6: The ACSC/ASEAN People's Forum (APF) 2015, April 07, 2015