On October 22, , Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno attended 2018 World Investment Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. The subject of the conference was “Investment in a New Era of Globalization.”
The event gathered heads of state and chief executive officers of global companies to share their vision for the future given the backlash against globalization arising from its unequal development impact, the dangers of protectionism on both trade and investment, and related challenges to multilateralism. These circumstances have been threatening to deter the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Speakers included the President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid, President of Montenegro Milo Dukanovic, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Mukhisa Kituyi, among others. The Secretary was also able to meet with the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen.
Bilateral Meeting with UNCTAD Secretary-General
On the sidelines, Secretary Diokno, together with the Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Evan P. Garcia, also had a bilateral meeting with UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi on October 23, .
In addition to congratulating the Secretary-General for a well-organized and well-attended World Investment Forum, the budget Secretary also expressed his appreciation for the capacity-building activities of the UNCTAD in the Philippines. He also conveyed the Philippine government’s interest in continued partnership and in any ideas the Secretary-General may have on what role the country may play in the UNCTAD.
The Philippines has always had a close relationship with the UNCTAD. In fact, in preparations for the 14th UNCTAD, the Philippines laid the foundation for what eventually became the Nairobi Maafikiano. This defined the UNCTAD’s crucial role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Secretary Benjamin Diokno with Ambassador Evan Garcia meets with UNCTAD Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi and staff.
Speech at the Investment, Trade, and Development Nexus
Secretary Diokno also had the opportunity to speak at The Investment, Trade and Development Nexus, which was held on October 24, in cooperation with the WTO.
He shared that given the emerging trade war and other accompanying uncertainties, “we are convinced that trade, investment and development are closely interlinked and interdependent. Greater integration into the global economy through free and open trade and investment can lead to dramatic improvements in living standards, lift large parts of the population from poverty and create economic opportunities for all.”
Furthermore, the Secretary asserted that the Philippines supports “any collective effort to mitigate the impact of these disruptions should they materialize,” referring to the effects of protectionism the global economy would be facing.
The high-level event focused attention on the evolving relationship between trade, investment, and development in the new era of globalization and industrialization with its mounting trade tensions, the resurgence of trade and investment protectionism, and its impact on global trade, global value chains and investment prospects.
Secretary Benjamin Diokno joins the panel at The Investment, Trade and Development Nexus of the 2018 World Investment Forum.