Hosting World Economic Forum 'vote of confidence' for Philippines - Yudhoyono

Manila, Philippines - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono emphasized recently the selection of the Philippines as host country for the World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA) set from May 21-23, 2014, referring to it as “a solid vote of confidence” for its remarkable economic achievements in recent years.
Hosting World Economic Forum 'vote of confidence' for Philippines - Yudhoyono

In his speech at the WEF-EA’s plenary session held at the Shangri-La hotel in Makati, Yudhoyono cited the good economic performance of the Philippines and Indonesia, which had Britain-based newspaper The Economist naming both countries as Asia’s "economic stars" last year.

Evidently, Yudhoyono shared President Benigno 'PNoy' S. Aquino III’s agenda of inclusive growth with his demand for social and economic mobility to address the issue of inequity that has been challenging Asia’s complete economic development.

“In my view, at the heart of the inequity is the question of social and economic mobility. I suppose we have to be realistic that there will always be people who are more well-off than others. But this becomes particularly problematic if mobility applies only for the few. The key challenge in addressing inequity is how to ensure that those at the bottom and middle also enjoy the same, if not more, socioeconomic mobility as those at the top; hence, mobility for all. And in this way, it doesn’t matter how many billionaires and millionaires emerge, so long as those at the economic bottom also get a ladder of a better life opportunity and progress, ” Yudhoyono said.

Yudhoyono said this particular thrust can be achieved through education—the “best weapon” against poverty—financial inclusion, and entrepreneurship, especially in the micro, small, and medium enterprises.

He noted, however, that “economic growth and equitable progress are not necessarily the same thing;" hence, there is a need for governments and institutions to come up with “true pro-poor” programs, which, he said, “have always been at the heart of Indonesia’s economic transformation.”

“Whatever the global ups and downs, I do believe that the intense pro-poor programs and social safety nets that they have instilled in the last decade will help make the Indonesian economy much more resilient in the face of uncertainty, and that Allah will lift us not just towards equality for all, not just towards equal opportunity for all, but towards mobility for all,” Yudhoyono said.

Apart from his participation at this year’s WEF-EA (his last as Indonesia’s President), Yudhoyono is also in the country for a state visit on President Aquino’s invitation. The two leaders discussed matters of mutual concern, including political, defense and border, maritime, economic, and socio-cultural cooperation at the Palace on Friday (May 23).

Meanwhile, here's the full video coverage of ABS-CBN sponsored session entitled "Accelerating ASEAN Strategic Infrastructure":

Watch: Philippines: The Next Asian Miracle. What are the drivers of the Philippines' success?

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