Arroyo to Boost UAE Ties, Push Economic Reforms

DUBAI - The Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said on Sunday she was committed to strengthening of bilateral relations with Middle Eastern countries, especially the UAE, place greater emphasis on pushing economic reforms and create more job opportunities at home.

By Lily B. Libo-on

Published: Wed 15 Apr 2009, 1:39 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:15 AM

As home to over three million Filipino workers, the Middle East region will be priority for the Philippines she said, adding that remittances from Filipino expatriates play a central role in shaping the economic fabric of the country

President Arroyo was addressing members of the Filipino Press Club and journalists from Manila at The Atlantis Hotel in Dubai. She said that economic reforms can be a painful process and calls for shoring up investments and infrastructure building, which demands more taxation.

The President said the country had recorded positive growth in the previous quarters, which had never happened under the past administrations.

“Our Gross National Product in 2008 registered a six per cent growth despite the global economic downturn. By January 2009, we had half a million increase in overseas employment,” she added.

The President said that the strong diplomatic presence in Dubai of the Philippines and the top government officials was a demonstration of the government’s full support to the Filipino workers in UAE and other Middle East countries.

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