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Subject:[kgma] PGMA's Speech at the Groundbreaking Ceremonies of Shangri-La Hotel, the Fort
Date:Thursday, July 03, 2008 9:39:32 PM
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July 3, 2008

Thank you very much Secretary Yap for your introduction.

Sir Robert Kouk, Ambassador Cojuangco, our three Senators Ed Angara,
Loren Legarda and Chiz Escudero, Cabinet members, Mayor Freddie Tinga,
other officers of the Kouk group and the San Miguel group, ladies
and gentlemen.

In the space of the last hour we have seen two laudable
objectives. One, that will go a long way to attracting visitors and
investors and enhancing our image as a choice tourist destination in
Asia; and the other, which will have a great impact towards food
self-sufficiency for our countrymen. Both are important, both redound
to the benefit of the Filipino people. To the Kouk group, thank
you for your faith in the Philippines.

I've met with Mr. Kouk in two of my working visits abroad, in two
of my visits abroad in Singapore and in Hongkong, the purpose of
which was to secure new commitments for job creation and
investments in the Philippines. And we are happy that our meetings
have borne such valuable fruit. We are encouraged by your
investing our country. Thank you very much, Sir Robert Kouk.

Shangri-la is one of our image models for demonstrating
that the Philippines has become an increasingly attractive
location for tourism investments, along with other services that you
will see already coming up and still to come up in this beautiful
development in Fort Bonifacio. Congratulations to Freddie Tinga and
congratulations also to the executives of Fort Bonifacio.

In fact, we think we are the best value and the best
place to invest in Asia. We offer a strategic location in a fast
growing region. Our work force is well-educated, productive and
English speaking. We are cutting red tape, especially, I am sure
here in Taguig, to simplify the requirements for investment.

In fact, in the Millennium Challenge Corporation in
Washington, when we were talking about our compliance with
requirements of the millennium challenge for governing well to fight
poverty, Taguig was one of our examples of a very business-friendly
environment in which it takes only a very short time to start a
business. Congratulations Freddie.

Our strengths are working to sustain our competitiveness
for investment. And we are happy to hear that aside from Shangri-la,
there will be four other hotels coming up here, but Freddie says
Shangri-la will definitely be the most luxurious of them all.

In the rest of our country, other heavy investments have been and are
coming in. Sir Robert already talked about Shangri-la Boracay. And
we have others -- huge investments like
Texas Instruments in its way for a fabrication plant in Clark
Economic Zone, which is attracting its suppliers and downstream
customers to come, and therefore promoting a whole industrial estate
within the Clark Economic Zone to cater to Texas Instruments'
customers and suppliers downstream.

Korea's Hanjin has a multi-billion dolllar shipyard in Subic, and
tomorrow we will be inaugurating their first large ship coming out of
there. Marubeni, Tokyo Electric, AES and other electric power giants
purchased power plants in the Philippines worth billions not to
mention Ashmore's purchase of controlling shares in Petron.

During our trip to New York, Libby's foods announced a $500 million
investment in a pineapple plantation and processing plant in Bicol. I
mention Libby's because as we have said earlier, we are glad to have
food investments in our country.

As our speakers have said earlier, there are big issues rocking the
world namely, the high price of food and fuel that is affecting
everyone around the globe but particularly the poor.

At every occasion, we work to help secure additional support for
stabilizing prices and ways to ensure food supplies. That is why to
the Kouk and San Miguel groups, thank you for answering the
government's call for private sector investment in the issue of food

That Southeast Asia's largest food and beverage company and one of
the region's largest food, sugar and vegetable oil companies have
convened to launch this program feeding the future offers a signal
that food security transcends both the private sector, the public
sector and private institutions. It demands action from all sectors.

When government and private sector come together for public good, the
results can be powerful. So, we thank the Kouk and San Miguel groups
for your generosity, for your cooperation in food security.

And may I add, I would also like to thank you because I have a note
here that the San Miguel Corporation will be donating half a million
dollars for the victims of typhoon Frank, and that the Kouk group of
companies will also donate half a million dollars to match the
donation of San Miguel Corporation.

Thank you,thank you, thank you and see you all again when we
inaugurate Boracay Shangri-la in November.

Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.



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