US-Philippines Society vows greater cooperation in economy, development

2023 May 3

MEETING WITH BIZ LEADERS. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (seated 4th from right) and his delegation speak with officials of the United States – Philippines Society in Washington DC on Tuesday (May 2, 2023). The USPS is a non-profit, bi-national organization of prominent civic and business leaders of the US and the Philippines.

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s visit to Washington DC has laid the framework for the commitment from both the private sector and civil society for greater cooperation and partnership in the development and economy of the Philippines, former US Ambassador to the Philippines John Negroponte said Tuesday.

Negroponte highlighted the positive developments of Marcos’ meeting with US President Joseph Biden on Monday, which led to the commitment of the United States – Philippines Society (USPS) to pursue greater cooperation to support the country’s economic growth.

The USPS, or The Society, is a non-profit, bi-national organization of prominent civic and business leaders of the US and the Philippines.

“(The) President’s visit… sets the table for our work, of US-Philippine Society in the months and years ahead. Thank you for that,” Negroponte told Marcos.

Negroponte co-chairs The Society with prominent Filipino businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

Marcos said he spoke about the possible ways in which Manila and Washington DC could work together to further expand and deepen cooperation in various areas that would be mutually beneficial to the Filipino and American people during his meeting with Biden.

“The strengthening and deepening of relations between the US and Philippines has certainly (been) a big step forward with all the developments that have been happening,” he said.

Marcos said the White House talks helped redefine the mutual defense treaty and gave an opportunity to lay down the roadmap for the economy, climate change, and all other major issues.

He highlighted the role that the private sector plays in economic development, expressing hope to see more engagements involving both the government and the private sector, especially in mobilizing financial resources for investments in key areas.

Marcos said he was also pleased with the significant progress that both countries have made toward strengthening and further enhancing their security alliance.

“Yes now, prominent are the security defense issues, but if you look at what do we do in partnership, in coordination with the United States and there’s no part of – there’s no sector that isn’t touched by that partnership,” he said.

Marcos and Biden’s meeting capped the series of engagements taking place in both countries, including the 2+2 Ministerial Meeting that was held in Washington DC about two weeks ago.

Bullish on economy

As this developed, the head of IBM’s International Trade Policy Government and Regulatory Affairs Michael DiPaula Coyle said they are “very, very bullish” on the Philippine economy and look forward to working with the government to invest in digitalization.

Coyle said they are also “very heavily invested” in helping grow the Philippines’ talent pool through skills development programs.

“We’ve had a number of partnerships with the US government with your government to improve skills development, particularly in areas like… AI and cybersecurity where I think the Philippines has an enormous opportunity to position yourselves as very competitive economy, particularly in the IT services sector,” he said.

The USPS was represented by Negroponte, with Ambassador John Maisto as president of the group; Ambassador Thomas Hubbard as board member; and Hank Hendrickson as executive director. 

Filane Mikee Cervantes