Department of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima spoke before the prestigious Les Entretiens de Royaumont (The Royaumont Interviews) on 30 November 2013.
This year, the theme of the event was “New Emerging Countries: Building a Sustainable Relationship”. The Philippines, together with Mongolia, Turkey, Indonesia, Poland, Colombia and the conurbation of Lagos, Lome, Accra and Abidjan in Africa, were identified as having the best potential for growth. As such, it was argued that these places should be of particular interest to France, particularly for French companies looking to invest and do business.
In his speech, Secretary Purisima highlighted the major strides the Philippines has undertaken in terms of good governance in the last three years as this has unleashed the country’s potential. He said that “economies are about people” and that as Philippines will hit its demographic sweet spot in the next few years, growth will also be expected to accelerate as a result.
Secretary Purisima urged France to participate in this economic resurgence and to look at opportunities in the infrastructure, tourism, fashion,and education sectors. He mentioned that France will likewise do well to consider the Philippines as a hub for Asian trade.
The Secretary also took the opportunity to call on the international community to give more importance to climate change and the impact this phenomenon has on the poor and vulnerable. Citing Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, Secretary Purisima pushed for more global risk sharing and safety net mechanisms that will benefit those affected by such disasters.
With around 500 participants over the course of two days, the Royaumont Interviews was held in the Royaumont Abbey around 50 kilometers from Paris.
The conference has gained much prestige and high-level participation since its inception 10 years ago. It has become an annual meeting place for policy reflection among the French political, economic, social and cultural leaders. END