MANILA — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday met with officials of the World Bank at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
In a statement, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said Marcos met with World Bank East Asia and the Pacific Regional Vice President Manuela Ferro and Philippines executive director Erivaldo Gomes.
"They discussed how to align the work of the Bank with the President’s priorities such as agriculture, clean energy, education and post-COVID economic recovery," Cruz-Angeles said.
Marcos, Ferro, and Gomes' discussion also touched on the importance of research and development, including the Philippine government's efforts to establish an institute of virology and an agency similar to the United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The President, who is the concurrent agriculture secretary, also discussed the state of the sector with the World Bank leaders, citing areas that need to be addressed, Cruz-Angeles said without giving additional details.
Cruz-Angeles added that Marcos brought up the state of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, citing the needs and requirements for the sector to continue becoming "viable and competitive."
"There was also discussion about financial inclusion and the target to have about 50 percent of personal transactions be digital by 2023," she said.
"The World Bank has stood with the Philippines in the most challenging times, bringing resources, linkages, and partnerships to bear on the country's social, economic, and environmental initiatives since 1945. We are incredibly grateful and proud to continue partnering with the World Bank to improve the lives of Filipinos," Marcos said of his meeting in a series of tweets.
Marcos was accompanied by members of his economic team, including Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Central Bank Governor Felipe Medalla, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.
Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez and House Speaker Martin Romualdez also attended the meeting.
On his 4th day in the United States, Marcos also met with US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minster Fumio Kishida at the sidelines of the 77th UNGA.