(Left to right) Head of Rates & Credit Research at Standard Chartered Singapore Kaushik Rudra, Department of Finance Usec. Gil Beltran, Security Bank EVP & Treasurer Raul Martin Pedro and Karen Davila exchanged insights during the open forum.
Security Bank Corporation (PSE: SECB) once again gathered the top brass of the banking industry as distinguished local and international speakers discussed the new challenges affecting local and international businesses in its annual economic forum on November 21, 2017 at the Rizal Ballroom of Makati Shangri-La, Manila.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr., Usec. and Chief Economist of the Department of Finance (DOF) Gil Beltran, and Head of Rates and Credit Research at Standard Chartered Singapore Kaushik Rudra were the notable speakers invited to the exclusive gathering of Security Bank clients and the country’s business and industry leaders.
“With the increasing pace of economic growth in the region, the rest of the world is looking at Asia for positive developments and opportunities. Countries in this region, especially the Philippines, now stand in the global spotlight. At a time when markets and regulations change at an unprecedented speed, there is clearly a role for financial institutions to help bridge this gap between local and global economies – in service of our stakeholders”, said Security Bank Chairman Alberto S. Villarosa.
Security Bank knows how important it is for its customers and partners to be well-informed of new opportunities and threats in the financial sector. Thus, as part of its BetterBanking commitment, Security Bank organized its Economic Forum in order to support customers as they aspire to further grow their businesses.
BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr., delivered the keynote message, emphasizing that the prospects for the Philippine economy remain bright and that it is “still one of the fastest growing economies in the world,” with 75 consecutive quarters of uninterrupted and increasingly broad-based growth. According to BSP Governor Espenilla, the annual economic growth of the country has been running above 6 percent in the last five – and that for the third quarter of this year, the country’s GDP picked up to 6.9 percent. In his message, BSP Gov. Espenilla eased the participants on their concerns regarding the depreciation of the peso and stressed the overall healthy condition of the Philippine banking system. He also guaranteed that the BSP is continuously finding ways to make the domestic economy more resilient against external shocks – even as our country continue to allow greater exchange rate flexibility.
BSP Gov. Espenilla emphasized the importance of the digitization of the payments system as one of the drivers of financial inclusion. He specified strategic e-commerce initiatives, stating that the BSP maintains an “open-minded approach” to financial technology, treating it as an opportunity to innovate and promote inclusive growth. Recently, the BSP launched the Philippine EFT System and Operations Network (PESONet), the first automated clearing house that aims to eventually replace paper check payments. Furthermore, the BSP is working with the Congress to establish a biometric national ID systems. Early next year, the BSP will launch InstaPay in order to enable mobile payments in support of e-commerce. He closed his keynote message by assuring the public of BSP’s commitment and capability to foster an enabling environment in order to prepare the country in the age of the Great Convergence.
Usec. Gil Beltran of the Department of Finance focused on the economic fundamentals, elaborating on where the local economy stands and the vision of the current administration for the Philippines. Beltran discussed the current efforts of the government in order to improve the delivery of services that are strongly linked with businesses through automation and streamlining. He cited the government’s ongoing projects such as the Philippine Business Data Bank, DOF Data Harmonization and Online Unified Business Application Form which can help the government conduct faster bidding procedures and ease the laborious processing for smaller businesses – which will encourage entrepreneurship among Filipinos. Beltran also touched on the Tax Reform and the government’s Build, Build, Build programs, stating that the DOF is working closely with the Department of Trade and Industry to ensure that tax incentives are given to positive initiatives and worthwhile infrastructure projects.
With his global perspective, Mr. Kaushik Rudra focused his presentation on the economic reality happening around the world and the challenge and growth areas for emerging markets. He presented trends in the major economies of the US, Europe and China. Fundamental in his presentation was his economic heatmap which compares key economic indicators of different Asian countries.
“Security Bank has been organizing this Economic Forum for many years now, and each year we receive positive feedback from customers telling us about how the insights from the speakers have helped them in their personal and business ventures. It is our BetterBanking commitment to provide support and partner with customers in order to further grow their businesses through relevant business forums such as this” said Security Bank President & CEO Alfonso Salcedo, Jr.