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American Asia-Pacific CEOs hold investment meeting here Mar. 20-21

Some 350 American executives in Asia Pacific will convene in the Philippines two weeks from now to explore opportunities drawn by the country’s strong economic growth and discuss investment issues.

Robert M. Sears, who is in charge of the American Desk at the Board of Investments, told reporters that the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) will host the annual Asia-Pacific Council of American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (APCAC) Summit on March 20-21 this year.

“American companies are drawn by President Aquino’s policy of good governance. It is the right time to take a closer look at the country’s potential,” Sears said.

According to Sears, some 350 business executives and other dignitaries from Asia Pacific and Washington D.C. are expected to attend the two-day APCAC summit. Of this delegation, 60 executives will come from the various AmChams in the region.

“This is a good opportunity for 60 executives from various chambers in the region to network with the locals,” he said.

These AmCham members have interests in manufacturing, services, energy and construction.

APCAC conferences are held in different regional cities every year and it is now the turn of AmCham Philippines to host this year’s summit. This is the second time that the APCAC Summit will be held in the country, the first was in 2004.

This year’s theme shall focus on “Asia’s Resurgence and America’s Role” to highlight US president Barack Obama’s rebalance to Asia policy.

Panel discussions will include APEC 2015 by the National Competitiveness Council, Disaster Response Preparedness by both the governors of Bohol and Leyte and USAID, and Tourism in Asia by Secretary Ramon Jimenez. Delegates are also expected to participate in other topics such as Cyber Security, Cross Border Data issues, and Climate Change.

“We hope to echo the voice international business community on these important issues in our policy recommendations to the United States Government to be integrated in our APCAC annual report at the end of this summit,” said Ebb Hinchliffe, executive director of AmCham.

Hinchcliffe underscored the importance of the summit in drawing worldwide attention in considering the Philippines as their investment destination.

“Once again, the Philippines will play a key role, as a rising tiger economy, in the radar of businessmen. The summit is a perfect opportunity to showcase the country’s potentials to attract investors especially in the manufacturing sector,” he said.

Aside from the thematic sessions, all delegates are encouraged to network with fellow participants to maximize business opportunities kicking off at a reception to be hosted by US Ambassador Philip Goldberg on the 19th.

APCAC was founded in 1968 as a way for the new 24 American Chambers in 19 economies spanning Asia-Pacific to address issue of mutual concern and share best practices. APCAC represents over 40,000 business executives and over 6,000 business entities in 28 regional countries and cities.