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Philippine Businesses Are Feeling Good About Biden Presidency

Former NEDA chief Pernia is also optimistic.
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Despite U.S. president Donald Trump’s contestations regarding the U.S. election results, world leaders and business executives have already congratulated president-elect Joe Biden, who is expected to enter office in January of 2021.

Even president Rodrigo Duterte congratulated Biden, noting that he was looking forward to working with his administration “anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit, and shared commitment to democracy, freedom and the rule of law.”

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After Duterte’s statement, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) followed suit. MAP consists of over 1,000 CEOs, COOs, and other top executives from the largest and most influential companies in the Philippines.

In a statement, MAP expressed that they were “hopeful” and “emboldened” by Biden’s victory speech, which was full of promises of hope, healing, and unity—far from the vitriolic rhetoric of the last four years coming from the White House.

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“The United States has been a very important ally and economic partner of the Philippines. There is an estimated four million Filipinos living in the United States. We are glad that America has a President-elect after a contentious political campaign and nail-biting electoral count,” said Francis Lim, president of MAP 2020.

“We are emboldened by the victory speech of President-elect Joe Biden. We nurture the hope that he will lead America with steady hands in this difficult time given the enormous challenges, like reviving the virus economy, healing the divide in the nation and across nations, protecting democratic ideals around the world, addressing the imperatives of the environment and social inequality, and strengthening global cooperation, peace, and stability.”

Atty. Lim is a senior partner at ACCRALAW, one of the leading law firms in the country. Other members of the board include Aurelio Montinola III, chair of Far Eastern University; Atty. Danilo Concepcion, president of the University of the Philippines; John Philip Orbeta, managing director at Ayala Corporation; Maria Victoria Espano, chair and CEO of P&A Grant Thornton; Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad, founding partner and CEO of BDB Law; Dr. Justo Ortiz, chair of UnionBank of the Philippines; Atty. Emmanuel Bonoan, vice chair and COO of KPMG R. G. Manabat & Co.; and Amando Tetangco Jr., independent director at Belle Corporation and former governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Pernia Chimes In

MAP is not the only one feeling good about a Biden presidency. Former chief of National Economic and Development Authority Ernesta Pernia is looking forward to Biden’s influence in Asia.

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In a tweet, Pernia noted that, with Biden at the helm, there could be a “counterweight” to China’s dominance for the “geopolitical balance in Asia, hopefully benefitting smaller countries, like the Philippines.”

Stock Markets React

After Biden’s win was projected, U.S. stocks were up, showing that, for the moment, the American economy is looking forward to Biden’s term, but some companies are still hesitant as COVID-19 continues to plague America.

Stocks in Asia, like Japan’s TOPIX and Nikkei 225 and South Korea’s KOSPI, were also up after it was made clear that Biden had gotten the lead on Trump.

The Philippine Stock Exchange also appears hopeful for Biden’s term, as “the prevailing view is Biden will be good for most of the developing countries or emerging markets,” said AP Securities vice president Jaycob Yedra.

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According to Yedra, emerging markets like the Philippines are “a proxy for global trade growth,” which is expected to benefit for Biden’s president as he’s predicted to take a “less U.S. protectionist stance, and therefore, it will be good for global growth.”

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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