'Many' WEF attendees 'interested' about proposed Maharlika fund: senator


Posted at Jan 18 2023 02:20 PM

Photo from the Presidential Communications Office. 
Photo from the Presidential Communications Office. 

"Many" attendees in this year's World Economic Forum (WEF) have shown their interest in the country's proposed sovereign wealth fund, a senator said on Wednesday (Manila time). 

Senator Mark Villar, part of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr's delegation in Davos, Switzerland, said they see the Maharlika Investment fund as something that can boost the country's development.

“Galing po ako sa dialogue kahapon at masasabi ko na marami po nagiging interested," Villar said, as quoted by the Presidential Communications Office.

"Maraming interesado sa Pilipinas at siyempre sa wealth fund dahil ito ay isang pondo na nakikita nila na magagamit natin para lalong bumilis ang development ng ating bansa and of course as investors gusto rin nilang makita na active tayo sa infrastructure at sa mga products or funds that can help the government,” he added. 

In a dialogue during the prestigious forum, Marcos noted efforts to establish government's first-ever sovereign wealth fund, as part of his administration's efforts "to diversify the country's financial portfolio."

This includes, he said, state financial institutions to pursue investments "that will generate stable returns."

"But also welfare effects spanning employment creation, improvement of public service, and a decrease in costs of economic activities,” said Marcos. 

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The Department of Foreign Affairs last week said Marcos will "soft launch" the proposed Maharlika Wealth Fund to world and business leaders in the WEF and tackle its "broad strokes." 

The measure has passed the House's 3rd reading and was already transmitted to the Senate. 

Economic managers earlier said that the creation of the Maharlika Wealth Fund would allow the administration to achieve its “objectives for inclusive and sustainable economic growth”, help fund huge infrastructure projects, and boost countryside development.

Proponents have removed workers' pensions as a source of capital for the fund following concerns on risks and potential corruption from activists, opposition figures, and some business groups. A revised version of the bill also removed the president as head of the fund's board. 

— Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News