Marcos attending WEF in Davos 'significant' for ASEAN, inflation: official


Posted at Jan 16 2023 10:22 AM | Updated as of Jan 16 2023 10:26 AM

MANILA - President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr's trip to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum is significant for the region and is crucial in dealing with inflation, an official said, as critics have said there are more pressing issues at the homefront. 

The Philippines is the sole ASEAN country in attendance at the WEF in Davos from Jan. 16 to 20 since the topic is not mainly focused on the region. 

But in an interview with ANC's Headstart, National Economic and Development Authority Usec. Rosemarie Edillon said the forum would discuss other issues such as the Russia and Ukraine war, climate action as well as health and society.

She said the forum would help the Philippines find solutions for external shocks to inflation. Marcos is also the concurrent chief of the Department of Agriculture.

"The fact that the Philippines is the only ASEAN leader in the forum actually also gives us another significant role in the region, it makes us a bridge between the ASEAN and this World Economic Forum," Edillon said.

"If you’re talking about the timing, especially we’re dealing with inflation, in fact global cooperation is the answer to this inflation. The sort of inflation we’re experiencing, the big factor there is supply chain disruptions caused by the Russia - Ukraine war and the different lockdowns in other countries," she added.

Inflation in December reached 8.1 percent, the highest since November 2008. Although external shocks pushed prices up in early 2022, December inflation was largely driven by higher prices of vegetables, including onions, that reached 32.4 percent, or the highest since February 1999.

"If we’re able to forge some cooperation, it doesn’t have to be formal cooperation agreements, but that would really go a long way in trying to address all these external shocks to inflation. We do have domestic shocks as well…but there are external shocks for which we need help from other countries to resolve," she said. 

"It will be a good thing also to be aware of solutions being done in other countries and get them to provide technical assistance to our agriculture," she added.

The trip to Davos is the president's 8th in a span of 7 months. When asked how many are included in the government party and how much are they spending to attend the forum, Edillon said she is not privy to the details. 

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