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[PHOTO AT LEFT - President Arroyo speaks during a panel discussion on ASEANís future at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland Friday, as (from left) Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Time editor Michael Elliot, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and Jusuf Wanandi, board trustee and senior fellow of Indonesiaís Center for Strategic and International Studies, listen.]

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND (via PLADT), JANUARY 29, 2007 (OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY, MALACA—ANG) After gathering together some of the biggest names in the corporate world in what has been talked about as the most high-powered dinner meetings on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) here, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wrapped up her brief stay in this Swiss mountain resort Saturday buoyed by encouraging prospects for increased investments the Philippines resulting from her meetings with top businessmen.

A major group of European companies expressed its desire to invest in the Philippines "in a big way," while the biggest business outsourcing firm in the country plans to further expand its operations in the provinces.

Similarly, the Philippines No. 1 exporter of computer chips has expressed continued confidence in the country.

"Overall, it was very encouraging. They asked about the policies, business climate, and so on," the President said, noting the enthusiastic response of the business leaders to her call for investors to take advantage of the imminent economic takeoff of the Philippines.

At the Presidentís first individual meeting at the Arabella Sheraton hotel Saturday, Prakash P. Hinduja, the chairman of both the Europe-based Hinduja Group and the AMAS Bank of Switzerland, informed her of their plans to invest in the Philippines, either in agricultural transportation, logistics, or business outsourcing as well as the deregulated industries sector such as oil.

"They really wanted to go to the Philippines in a big way," the President said during a plane interview on her way back to Manila. "Weíll definitely be hearing from them soon."

Hinduja, whose son runs the CQ business in the Philippines, told the President he likes the investment climate in the country and is upbeat on the economy.

The Presidentís second individual meeting was with Kenneth Tucman, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Teletech, who expressed his desire to expand his companyís operations in the provinces.

The Chief Executive recommended Valencia town near Dumaguete in Negros Oriental for Teletechís expansion plans "to take advantage of the power subsidy given by the local government there."

Aside from operating the biggest call center in the country, Teletech is also into tourism and related businesses.

The Presidentís final engagement here was a meeting with Craig R. Barrett, chairman and CEO of Intel Corp., the Philippines No. 1 exporter of micro chips, who likewise expressed his firmís continued confidence in her economic reforms.

During the dinner with a select group of CEOs worldwide at the Hotel Belvedere Friday, the President welcomed the confidence and optimism shared by the business leaders who took note of the reforms she has implemented in the economic front.

Among the dinner guests were Wiliam Rhodes of Citibank N.A.; Kakutaro Kitashiro of IBM Japan, Neville Isdell of Coca-Cola, Kevan Watts of Merryll Lynch, Martin Sullivan of AIG, Jim Goodnight of SAS, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe of Nesltle, S.A., and Prof. Michael Porter of Harvard Business School.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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