President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the APEC CEO Summit “The Global Economy and the Future of APEC” (Q&A)

Event Q&A - APEC CEO Summit
Location Crystal Ballroom of Athenee Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand

MODERATOR: What about for a President of a country in the Asia Pacific? Short term, long term?

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Well very — I will be specific with the Philippine experience. Short- term issues are very simple. It is actually at this point, it is survival for many of our people simply because prices of fuel, prices of food have risen to such an extent that they simply cannot afford to survive without assistance from the government. And hence, we are still presently in the Philippines providing just direct cash transfer payments.

This is not something that we prefer to do. I don’t think that anyone is particularly enamored with direct cash transfer payments. But it is the only way that we can mitigate the situation that our people have.

So that is something that we are hoping with the creation of jobs and with the growth of the economy to slowly begin to dial down.

And it is with the pandemic beginning to ease at least in our case, then there are — there’s a great deal of hope that that emergency situation will slowly resolve itself into some kind of normalcy.

In the long term, there really I agree with Mr. Moritz, the changes that need to be made are structural. They have to be done structurally because this is a different world. This is a different economy. And as we were discussing in the green room, he says we’re not playing catch-up. And I said even if we were, what are we trying to catch up to? 2019? I don’t think that that’s the plan.

And so we have to be — we cannot be too married to the ideas that we were holding as truths before and we have to be willing to make big changes but with the recognition that from what is actually happening around the world.

But when we make these structural changes, I’d like to pick up on the point that Dr. Schwab made is innovation. We must allow still innovation to — we must still continue to encourage innovation and to recognize innovations that can actually help and immediately put them into play or sent — if it’s a product to market or if it’s a system to implement that system. So the agility that Mr. Moritz is saying, I think is the key to the future in the long term for not only the ASEAN, Asia-Pacific region, Indo-Pacific region, but for the whole world.

MODERATOR: Second question: What kind of state of the world are we in and therefore, the Asia-Pacific region? Is it defined as you know as used in many different languages to — described [garbled] But in English will be rivalry competition? Or cooperation? Which we have seen in [garbled] in the Asia-Pacific region for decades? Maybe we start with Mr. President on that?

PRESIDENT MARCOS: As I described, I think one of the great advantages that APEC and the countries in the Indo-Pacific, Asia-Pacific region have been able to manage is that very difficult balance between cooperation and competition.

And yet we seem for the most part I would say we have done it. And that was what has driven the growth of the region is that we are able to compete with one another. But when we find opportunities where partnerships will be — will give the better result, we are all perfectly willing to enter into those partnerships as well.

So that I think is going to be key. We have done it before. It is the nature of APEC. If we continue to do that and strengthen that, I think it will be to the great benefit of all countries.

MODERATOR: You all talk about building trust. It’s not easy building trust or rebuilding trust. We know how difficult it is, especially over the past few years. We might now be able to see to each other in person and that we can see each other also, not just here with Zoom right. So on that point, how that we can efficiently rebuild trust?

PRESIDENT MARCOS: In the political context, the way to earn trust is to perform. The best politics — I always say — the best politics is perform. Because it’s something that cannot be taken away from you and it is something that actually makes a difference in people’s lives. [applause]

MODERATOR: Walk the talk, perform!

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Perform and you will get the trust back of the people and that is what we all — all politicians and I’m sure even people from the business side is what we strive for.


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SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)