MANILA, Philippines ? (UPDATE) Despite the country's economic progress, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said her government would remain "cautious" and "vigilant" amid the current international economic uncertainty.
"It's clear that everyone who knows our country agrees that we are in a better position today than ever to withstand and be resilient when confronted with international economic uncertainty," Arroyo said in her speech on Tuesday after arriving from Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
But while she expressed confidence and optimism about the long-term progress of the Philippine economy, the President said, "We're also cautious about the current state of the world economy."
"As such, we assured everyone we met abroad and we say to our people here at home, we are not complacent. We remain vigilant in pursuing economic reforms and maintaining our fiscal discipline just as we're working hard at home to mitigate the impact of any economic slowdown on our people," she said.
In her visit to the UAE, Arroyo announced certain measures such as a new deposit instrument of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines), that would ease the impact of fluctuations in currency rates on the remittances of overseas Filipino workers.
She also cited the newly launched Landbank card for OFWs that would reduce their expenses in remittances to the Philippines.
As a result of her UAE visit, Arroyo said there would also be new investments coming to the Philippines starting this year.
Among the benefits of her trip to Europe, where she attended the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, and in UAE are new trade and investment opportunities, strengthened relations with multilateral agencies and donor agencies who support the country?s development program, better working conditions for OFWs, and increased levels of cooperation with countries around the world.
"It's clear that the world is taking notice of the success our country has achieved in turning our economy around and in generating some of the highest economic growth levels in a generation," she said.
"It's because of that international recognition that a number of current foreign investors told us of their plan to expand their operations in the Philippines and new investors confirmed their intentions to establish operations here," she said.