The already robust Philippine economy “can do so much better” because of the Filipinos’ “tremendous potential,” said United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim on Tuesday, December 26.
According to Kim, the Philippines can further improve its already good economic performance because of its young, hardworking and English-speaking population, in addition to its great natural resources.
“The Philippines, like many other countries, faces some huge challenges [such as] infrastructure. But I also sense that there is tremendous potential here in the Philippines. It’s a very young population, a hardworking population,” Kim said in an interview with ANC’s Early Edition.
The envoy also expressed hope that the U.S. would become a “key partner” in the Philippines’ economic development.
Allaying fears that the U.S. economy would restrict its global trade initiatives in line with U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called “America First” policy, Kim claimed that the U.S. remains to be the “most open economy anywhere.”
He stressed that the U.S. remains supportive of trades that are fair to all parties.
“What the President (Trump) emphasized is we wanna promote trade but what we are looking for is fair and reciprocal trade,” Kim said.
The envoy also added that he regularly encourages U.S. businessmen to consider investing in the Philippines. In turn, he asked Filipinos to explore business opportunities in the U.S.
“I always encourage US companies to think about business opportunities here in the Philippines. Likewise, I think it will be good for Philippine industry to look for opportunities in the United States,” Kim said.
Apart from economic relations, Kim also mentioned Washington’s assistance to the Philippine government in its five-months operations against the Islamic State (IS)-inspired Maute terrorists in Marawi City.
The U.S. government had supported the Philippines in reclaiming the city from the terrorists by providing technical information, technical advise, and equipment, the U.S. envoy noted.
He also added that the U.S. had already provided P750 million in aid that would address not only the immediate, but also the medium-term and long-term rehabilitation projects in the war-torn city.
As a countermeasure for the reported recruitment efforts of militants, Kim said the U.S. is keen on establishing more educational programs in the southern Philippines that would help the youth in steering away from extremism.
“It is important to help these young people make smart decisions and to resist when these evil people try to recruit them for evil purposes,” he remarked. (Dana Sioson/AJPress)