Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines holds General Membership Meeting and Economic Forecast 2020 Forum

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  • 28 Nov 2019
  • ICCP
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The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines recently held its biannual General Membership Meeting and Business Forum last 21 November 2019 at Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City. The meeting, which was attended by over 120 participants, focused on the state and outlook of the Philippine economy for 2020.

Honored with the presence of H.E. Israeli Ambassador Rafael Harpaz, the forum was graced with the attendance of Undersecretary Ernesto Perez of the Anti-Red Tape Authority, Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Caintic of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Charito Plaza, Mayor Mercy Teves of Bais City in Negros Oriental, Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda of Borongan City in Eastern Samar, Director Romeo Poquiz of the Philippine National Oil Company, Senior Vice President and Co-Head of International Desks Mr. Romeo Co of BDO Unibank, Inc, Mr. Joey Leviste of OceanaGold Philippines and Mr. Raymond Bagatsing, lead actor of the movie Quezon’s Game. Former Chamber Presidents Isidor Gilan, Josef Gueta, Emmanuel Fryszer and Itamar Gero were likewise present.


Two speakers were invited to the forum who were both experts in Philippine economy. Undersecretary Gil Beltran, Chief Economist of the Department of Finance; and Mr. Jonathan Ravelas, Chief Market Strategist and First Vice President of BDO Unibank, Inc. presented a clear forecast of business opportunities and economic growth.


Chief Economist of the Department of Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran, with his vast experience on fiscal policy, human resource and operations management, economic policy and research, and financial inclusion policies and strategies, quoted the International Monetary Fund’s statement said that the Philippine economy could register growth of 5.7% for 2019 and 6.3% by 2020. He further stated that with the country’s many growth drivers, the Philippines has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Regarding inflation, it will stay within the 2-4% range for the rest of the medium-term.


Chief Market Strategist and First Vice President of BDO Unibank, Inc.  Mr. Jonathan Ravelas, named among the world’s most accurate forecasters, talked about a slightly faster growth in 2020 due to increased government revenues, expansionary monetary policy and better BOP (balance of payments) position. He highlighted agribusiness, tourism, manufacturing, infrastructure and construction, power and energy and IT-BPM outsourcing as investment opportunities for next year.


A panel discussion, which was open to questions from the audience, soon followed with the participation of Assistant Secretary Angelo Taningco of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Economic Affairs, and Mr. George Barcelon, Chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


The Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines also did the oathtaking for its new and honorary members. Among the honorary members who took their oath of membership were Mr. Raymond Bagatsing, lead actor of the movie Quezon’s Game; Retired Major General Romeo Poquiz, Director of the Philippine National Oil Company; and Director General Charito Plaza of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.


Israeli food from the Jewish Synagogue, Hummus Elijah and My Falafel were served during the buffet dinner where attendees networked with fellow members and non-members of the Chamber.