Marcos woos investors to choose PH, rings NYSE closing bell

NEW YORK, USA — President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. rang the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) after courting American business leaders to choose the Philippines as their investment venue.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. waves after ringing the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the NYSE Trading Floor on September 19, 2022 (New York time). The ringing of the bell signals the end of the day's trade. (Argyll Geducos)

Marcos made a public statement at the NYSE amid protests against his arrival here on September 19 (New York time).

A visibly thrilled Marcos rang the NYSE closing bell from its Trading Floor at precisely 4 p.m., signaling the end of the day's trading. He was joined by First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos, Ilocos Norte First District Representative Sandro Marcos, and NYSE Vice Chairman John Tuttle.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez and members of his economic management team were also at the Trading Floor to witness the event.

Marcos is the first Philippine president to ring NYSE's closing bell after then President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III did the same gesture eight years ago.

In his speech before the closing bell rang, the President shared with business leaders how the Philippines is ramping up efforts to open the economy and accelerate post-pandemic recovery.

"Bouncing back from the pandemic, the Philippine economy has seen robust growth since last year and has returned to its path toward upper-middle-income country status, achievable within the next few years," he said.

Marcos said the country increased the scope for mutually beneficial investments that would mean more jobs and a better quality of life.

"For investors, doing business in the Philippines is an opportunity to reap the benefits of a vibrant economy," he said.

Marcos cited laws that further liberalize the economy, such as lowering corporate income tax rates and rationalizing fiscal incentives.

He added that the country had reduced the minimum paid-up capital requirements for foreign retailers and startups bringing in advanced technology and allowed full foreign ownership of companies providing public services.

According to the President, this wide range of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives makes the Philippines a key investment destination. He assured them that the Philippines is committed to maintaining sound macroeconomic fundamentals.

"In the near-term, our top priorities are protecting the purchasing power of families by managing inflation, reducing the scarring effects of the pandemic, and ensuring sound macroeconomic fundamentals," he said.

Marcos likewise said that his administration is keen on implementing policies that enhance food security, reduce energy, transport, and logistics costs, strengthen social protection, and enhance the quality of education and skills of workers.

"As we pursue our short-term agenda, we build the foundations for a stronger, more inclusive future," he said.

"Our medium-term agenda includes reducing the poverty rate to single digits by 2028 and undergoing an industrial transformation through which science, technology, innovation, and sustainability will drive our industries," he added.

President Marcos said that despite "external headwinds," the Philippine economy's resilience, reinforced by sound policies and decisive leadership, "makes us confident about the future."