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Philippines highlighted in 44th St Gallen Symposium

Finance Secretary Purisima with the speakers to the 44th St. Gallen Symposium

Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima took center stage in the 44th St Gallen Symposium held at the University of St Gallen in Switzerland on 8 May.  In the opening session of the symposium, he highlighted the ongoing reforms in the Philippine economy and its strengths.  It took place the same day that Standard and Poors upgraded the Philippines’ credit rating.

The St Gallen Symposium is a global gathering of “Leaders of Today and Tomorrow” that takes place every May in this premier university in North Eastern Switzerland.  Its goal is to provide a setting for discussion of current issues on management, politics and civil society.  This year’s topic was “The Clash of generations”, which focused on the growing concern regarding societal structure, its implications on productivity, and social cohesion.  


Secretary Purisima also had a working session wherein he discussed the prospects of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015.  He stressed on the competitiveness and viability of the ASEAN market vis--vis other similarly situated markets in the world.

 The participation of Secretary Purisima in the St Gallen Symposium put a strong focus on the economic strengths of the Philippines.  According to Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland Leslie Baja, there is growing interest in the Philippines bilateral economic relations with Switzerland, coming on the heels of the signing of the Agreement establishing the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) and the forthcoming signing of the Joint Declaration to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with the European Free Trade Area (EFTA). He said that a high level Swiss delegation will be going to the Philippines in July for the first meeting of the JEC.

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