Wednesday, March 15, 2006

American Chamber of Commerce expresses “faith in the Philippines"

APCAC MEETS IN MANILA. The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. recently hosted the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC) 2006 meeting at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel.

Led by APCAC Chairman George Drysdale, Jr. (seated at the center), APCAC delegates discussed key policy issues to prepare for the June Washington Doorknock, APCAC’s annual meeting with US Government Leaders. Shown also in photo are the APCAC executive directors from L-R (Seating): Patricia Warman, Indonesia; Bo Kim and Tami Overby, Korea; Brenda Foster, China-Shanghai; Christy Chen, China-Tianjin; Judy Benn, Thailand; and Eloise Baza, Guam; (Standing) Tim Shaver, China-Guandong; Richard Vuylsteke, Taiwan; James Pogue, Okinawa, Japan; Charles Martin, China-Beijing; Donald Westmore, Japan; Robert Sears, Philippines; Ramesh Bajpai, India; Mike Hearn, New Zealand; Dominic Lavigne, Malaysia; Nicholas De Boursac, Singapore; A. Gafur, Bangladesh; Jack Maisano, Hong Kong; and Herb Cochran, Vietnam.

APCAC represents the interests of over 10,000 business entities in 26 countries of the region with $300 billion in investments.

Robert Sears
, Amcham Philippines executive director say Proclamation 1017 (State of Emergency) did not scare off American investors in the Philippines. In fact, told me that they never doubted that democracy was in danger during the week-long state of emergency. The recent APCAC meeting is proof of that, he said.

“We have great faith in the Philippines,” he said. “Investors here, the people here, understand that there’s a lot of noise, there’s a lot of rhetorics and you have to cut through the chaff to see what’s really there.” And despite that week-long political drama, he believes the Philippines still has a “fantastic potential” in several niches like information and communications technology, outsourcing, call centers. But Sears, however, say that the Philippines do have a lot of catching up to do especially in infrastructure development so it could attract more investments that is now lining up for a few countries like China and India.

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