Speech of President Arroyo during a meeting with the Canadian Business Leaders at the I.T. Networking Session

Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Philippines
During a meeting with the Canadian Business Leaders at the I.T. Networking Session

[Delivered at the Tudor Room Mezzanine, Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto, Canada, January 30, 2002]

Thank you very much.

Mr. Sykes; Mr. Garcia; Mr. Lim; other distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

I’m very happy to be here with you this afternoon in this I.T. forum appropriately held in the global City of Toronto. With your vibrant economy and your 3,000 ICT firms, your city is indeed tangible proof that technology is a major key to economic growth.

In the Philippines today, as you may have heard from my colleagues, we have also identified ICT — information and communications technology — as the key to finding our niche in the 21st century. This is because we feel that our growth sectors are in the human resource-intensive, skills-intensive service sectors, like, as i said, ICT, tourism, health care and other similarly skill-intensive sectors. Thanks to our millions of educated, English-speaking and I.T. literate workforce, the Philippines is fast becoming a hub for information and communications technology.

Our strategy for human capacity building is to transform our labor force into the new economy workforce. And to this end to be able to continue the supply of knowledge workers to the next generation, to the next batch, we are placing more emphasis on improving basic education in math and science. And in the tertiary level, in human resource development activities to create a pool of ICT professionals to our certification programs for programmers. My administration is also committed to expanding the country’s physical ICT infrastructure. Even now we already offer foreign investors dedicated I.T. zones and cyberparks with reliable telecom infrastructure and high bandwidth. We are continually working on initiatives to further improve high-speed connectivity at low cost. My administration is also concentrating on improving the policy and legislative environment for ICT. Already we have an e-commerce law one of the first countries in Asia to do so was the Philippines. Our e-commerce law regulates the use of electronic technology and penalizes cybercrimes such as hacking. And we are going to pass even more laws related to security issues and also to convergence.

In line with my administration’s focus on I.T. as a priority sector, I hope that the Canadian community will be attending the e-services Philippines, the country’s major I.T. services fair on February 7 to 9th, in Manila. I hope you will visit this fair to learn more about business opportunities in the I.T. sector and to network with Philippine I.T. companies. We know that many foreign companies will be visiting the Philippines for this event. With Canada being a world leader in e-commerce and ICT and we the Philippines possessing the highly skilled and trainable I.T. labor force to make it Asia’s hub for back office operations and it services, promising business opportunities are open to both sides for business alliances in this sector. And considering the global revenue projections for world outsourcing of I.T. services is showing significance shift towards the Asian region where American and European companies are increasingly contracting out their services to take advantage of lower cost, it will be indeed a wise move for Canadian companies to be a step ahead of your competition by choosing the new economy — Philippines — your winning e-services partner.

Thank you.

Source: www.op.gov.ph

Macapagal-Arroyo, G. (2002). PGMA’s Speech during a Meeting with the Canadian Business Leaders at the I.T. Networking Session. Retrieved from https://web.archive.org/web/20100412230855/http://www.op.gov.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7582&Itemid=38