FOREIGN INVESTORS AIR DISMAY OVER IMPEACHMENT AND NAIA SIEGE

MANILA, November 11, 2003  (STAR) By Marianne V. Go - Foreign investors have expressed dismay over the recent spate of negative events that include the impeachment of Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. and the recent takeover of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport control tower, Trade and Industry Secretary Manuel Roxas II said yesterday.

According to Roxas, he has been getting "getting expressions of dismay" from both local and foreign businessmen over the weekend.

Roxas acknowledged that "the crisis at the Supreme Court, followed by this (the NAIA takeover), certainly does not help." Roxas added, "what answer can you give the headquarters in Tokyo or New York when they ask you what’s happening here?"

However, Roxas assured, "we are not sweeping this under the rug. We are addressing this. We’ve had a series of meetings with investor groups."

Roxas met yesterday with officials of Intel Corp. to assure them that the NAIA takeover is a police matter that was swiftly addressed.

"Although the unauthorized entry into a secure location is regrettable, new security measures would be put into place," Roxas explained.

Meanwhile, British Embassy First Secretary for Trade and Investment Eamonn Staunton revealed that some British investments are going to China, not necessarily because they are deterred by recent events in the Philippines, but because of the large Chinese market.

Even then, however, Staunton advised, the government should exert effort to explain the situation and continue to convince investors to invest in the Philippines.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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