Arroyo Vows Better Business Climate; Gov't Will Cut Costs, Risks and Eradicate Corruption

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In a bid to entice more investments, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday assured top executives of multinational companies of her determination to improve the safe and friendly business climate by eradicating the culture of graft and corruption.

Speaking before the Wallace Business Forum consisting of 260 senior corporate officials, the President expressed her commitment to "work hard" to protect the welfare and interests of businessmen as she considered them as allies in winning the fight against poverty.

"We are prepared to work hard in order to reduce the costs, as well as the risks, of doing business in this country," she said.

This after senior economist Peter Wallace, head of the Wallace Business Forum, projected a positive growth in the gross domestic product for the Philippines this year but aired several concerns on peace and order as well as corruption which could destroy investors confidence in the country.

In response, the President highlighted her commitment to good governance as she vowed to "exorcise the culture of corruption."

"We resolve to remove graft as a source of uncertainty and unpredictability in investment decisions. We are determined to cut down the waste of scare public resources and increase public investments," she said. …