‘Travel is important’ for Marcos as country’s CEO—Concepcion

Published November 24, 2022, 4:55 PM

by Betheena Unite

Building relationships with other countries and foreign partners are not built over the phone. Thus, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., as the country’s top official, must go on travels, Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said.

(Photo courtesy of Go Negosyo and Noel Pabalate)

In a statement, Concepcion stressed how important business travels are both in business and in heading a state, which came as a defense to the President’s past and upcoming foreign trips.

“Travel is important. Like us businessmen, we go to other countries, and our companies are public, so we want to go there and visit them and invite them and invest in our company – that’s the job of a CEO,” he said.

“You cannot build relationships over the phone, you build relationships by being there. Most business discussions are built on trust; how can you build trust if you don’t see them? They only get to see you and hear you when you visit them,” he added.

Concepcion is the CEO of RFM Corp. and has served as Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship under two Philippine presidents—former presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Rodrigo Duterte.

Talking about Marcos, Concepcion said the President “is doing a good job being the CEO of Philippines, Inc.”

“I’ve actually been asked several times on several interviews on how well he did during our foreign trips, and I can say he did quite well as CEO of Philippines, Inc.,” he said. Concepcion joined the President on at least two foreign official trips.

Since assuming the presidency, Marcos has received several invitations to official meetings, such as the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in the United States last September; the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Thailand in November, and the coming World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January. He also went to an “informal event” in Singapore, which Concepcion believes was also important.

“Those [informal meetings] are important. Many business transactions happen when you play golf, for instance. Many people talk on the sidelines, that’s how you build relationships,” he said. “Relationships are not only built on conferences, relationships are also built on leisure.”

Concepcion also observed that Marcos was effective in convincing investors that the Philippines is a good place to do business.

“During our Cambodia visit, he gave them confidence that the government is solidly behind the private sector, whether the local private sector or foreign investors, the Philippines is open for investments,” he said, pointing out that this is especially important for the tourism sector and for the many MSMEs that depend on tourist arrivals.

He also cited the President’s move to invite Arroyo to join him at the 29th APEC Summit in Thailand as “PGMA knows all the leaders, and she was a great support to him during the meetings.”

Marcos even called Arroyo as his “secret weapon.”

Concepcion furthered that overall, the chief executive “is a good marketing person.”