President Ramos has been hailed as the mastermind behind the reform agenda of the government. He is determined to lay down the necessary foundations to enable the Philippines to achieve full economic recovery by the year 2000.
For instance, he has completed a successful shift from a protectionist, inward-looking economy to one that is very liberalized and trade-oriented. He has also broken the oligopolies that have controlled key sectors in shipping, telecommunication, an d banking. Finally, he was able to disperse economic growth to the provinces. This he did first by identifying what he called "growth nodes" and then implemented -- through his staff and government departments -- essential development projects there.

In an interview with Asiamoney, President Ramos said that "economic growth can thrive in a democracy." Here are the highlights of that interview.

  1. The Philippines has the following attributes which make it an excellent place as a gateway to the Asia-Pacific and as a suitable location for regional headquarters: English-speaking capability; geographical qualities; democratic culture; management s kills in financial services, investment, manufacturing, etc.; a large labor pool which is easily trainable; and more reasonable costs of living.
  2. Hongkong's reversion to the Beijing sovereignty in 1997 will definitely have a positive impact on the Philippines because of the increase in a) travel opportunities from the Taiwanese and Mainland Chinese; and b) in the hosting of international holdin g companies in the Philippines.

After almost four years in government, President Ramos has achieved a considerable amount. The secret of his success has been a combination of hands-on drive and tapping the knowledge of outside experts from the private sector and the academe.

"Source: ASIAMONEY magazine March 1996 Supplement - The Philippines Back in the Spotlight"
(C)Copyright 1996 Euromoney Publications (Jersey) Ltd."
"Materials used with permission."
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