Business pushes stronger US ties


    Business leaders expressed optimism over the conclusion of the presidential elections in the United States even as they see the need for the Philippines’ trade and investment ties with the world’s economic powerhouse.

    “The US is a very important ally and economic partner of the Philippines.”

    “We are glad that America has a President-elect after a contentious political campaign and nail-biting electoral count,” said Francis Lim, president of the Management Association of the Philippines.

    Lim said MAP is emboldened by the victory speech of President-elect Joe Biden with “the hope that he will lead America with steady hands in this difficult time given the enormous challenges, like reviving the virus economy, healing the divide in the nation and across nations, protecting democratic ideals around the world, addressing the imperatives of the environment and social inequality, and strengthening global cooperation, peace and stability.”

    Benedicto Yujuico, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said it is now time for the Philippines to manage its relationship with the US following the election of Biden even as it seeks partnerships with other countries.

    “The Philippines should continue to expand trade and investment in our region as well as open up new relationships and markets in the East,” said Yujuico.

    Yujuico will meet today with US Embassy officials in his office “to keep the door open.”

    PCCI observed the US has been supporting other countries in Asean more than the Philippines, notably at the recently concluded Indo Pacific Summit held in Hanoi where US private and public sector pledged support to large projects in Vietnam.

    President Trump had his “America-First” policy that sent jitters to the business process outsourcing industry servicing US clients.

    But it was also Trump who gave the go-signal for the conduct of negotiations for a US-Philippines free trade agreement which did not progress during the administration of Barrack Obama.

    Democrat initiatives such as climate change, more participation in World Health Organization, and strengthening ties with allies are viewed by business as good signs.