Business leaders descend on Manila to debate future of Philippine economic development at the Financial Times-First Metro Philippines Investment Summit

May 20, 2015



The second annual Financial Times-First Metro Philippines Investment Summit is being held today at the Makati Shangri-La hotel in Manila.


Over 250 prominent business leaders, senior government representatives, investors and economists from the region will gather to examine the progress the Philippines has made in terms of institutional reforms; how the Philippine political and economic situation compares with that of its ASEAN neighbours; and what the next Government must do to maintain this progress and achieve sustainable and inclusive growth.


Cesar Purisima, Finance Minister of the Philippines, will open the Summit with an update on the Administration's latest initiatives towards improving the country's debt to GDP ratio, and the ways in which the Philippines can leverage the ASEAN Economic Community as a platform to drive economic growth and competitiveness through 2015.


Panellists will explore the opportunities and challenges facing the Philippines as a key player in the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), as well as the implications of playing host to the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, among other important issues.


James Robinson, Professor of Government at Harvard University and one of the world's foremost experts on government and national policy, will deliver an exclusive keynote address, sharing insights on the essential next steps for the Philippine government in order for the country to maintain economic and political growth in the long-term. His latest book, Why Nations Fail, takes a fresh approach to understanding the gap between the world's rich and poor countries, specifically focusing on the role political institutions play in economic success.


Amando Tetangco, Jr., Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, will provide an update on the steps the Central Bank has been taking to open up the Philippine banking sector, the implications for both local and foreign banks, and also how regional financial integration will affect flows of capital in and out of the country.


Panel discussions moderated by David Pilling, Asia Editor, and Josh Noble, Asia Regional Markets Correspondents at the Financial Times, will feature the following high-profile speakers:

  • Stephen Groff, Vice President for East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Asian Development Bank
  • Diwa C. Guinigundo, Deputy Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
  • Roberto Juanchito Dispo, President, First Metro Investment Cooperation
  • Noburu Kato, Director & General Manager, Head of Investment Banking Department Asia, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • Tim Leissner, Chairman, South East Asia, Vice Chairman, Investment Banking Asia ex-Japan, Goldman Sachs
  • Hans Sicat, President and CEO, Philippine Stock Exchange
  • Jesus B. Atencio, President & CEO, 8990 Holdings
  • Dado Banatao, Managing Partner, Tallwood Venture Capital
  • Nico Jose Nolledo, Chairman and President, Xurpus
  • Kiren Tanna, Co-CEO, Asia Pacific Internet Group


Commenting on the significance of the summit, David Pilling, Asia Editor, Financial Times, said, "Attracting investment from other ASEAN countries and western economies remains a key priority for the Philippines. To achieve this, policy-makers and business leaders need to confront challenges such as bank liberalisation, changes in consumer buying trends, and keeping pace with technological advances."


Roberto Juanchito Dispo, President, First Metro Investment Corporation, added, "First Metro is once again delighted to partner with the Financial Times to co-host the Philippines' leading gathering of international economists, investors and business leaders. This year's Summit will highlight the crucial next steps for the Philippines as it enters its next phase of economic development."