BusinessWorld Economic Forum 2024 to uncover next drivers of Philippines’ growth

NATIONAL Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan (left) and JG Summit Holdings, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Y. Gokongwei will deliver keynote speeches at the BusinessWorld Economic Forum “PH Next: Growth Drivers” on May 22 at the Grand Hyatt Manila.

THE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY has shown resilience despite facing challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic, elevated inflation and high interest rates.

The BusinessWorld Economic Forum will tackle the key issues facing the Philippines today, as well as the next drivers of economic growth when it returns on May 22 (Wednesday) at the Grand Hyatt Manila in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Titled “PH Next: Growth Drivers,” the award-winning premier business event from the Philippines’ leading business newspaper and multimedia content provider will bring together policy makers, industry leaders, and top executives.

National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan will kickstart the forum by delivering a speech on the “Imperatives for Sustaining Philippines’ Economic Growth.”

Lance Y. Gokongwei, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of JG Summit Holdings, Inc., will deliver a keynote speech on “Boosting the Private Sector’s Share in Fueling Economic Growth,” sharing his perspective on the role of private enterprises in driving the Philippine economy forward.

Central to the forum will be the panel discussions discussing the various opportunities for the Philippine economy.

The first panel, “Strengthening the Backbone of Nationwide Progress,” will include George Royeca, CEO of ride-hailing service Angkas; Rafa de Mesa, head of economic estates for Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc.; Jesus Romero, senior executive vice-president and chief operating officer (COO) of Converge ICT Solutions, Inc.; and Emmanuel “Manny” Estrada, vice-president for regulatory development and strategy at Globe.

Another panel discussion on “Digital Economy: A Vital Engine for Future Growth” will feature Grace Vera Cruz, country head of ride-hailing and online payments platform Grab Philippines; Jerry Ngo, CEO of EastWest Bank; Carlos Barrera, CEO of Lazada Philippines; and Mitch Padua, group chief product officer of Maya.

The panel on “Safeguarding Digital Economic Growth through Security and Trust” includes Ingrid Beroña, chief risk officer of mobile wallet platform GCash; and Alexander Ramos, executive director of the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center.

The forum will also feature a discussion on “Maximizing the Potentials of the Philippine Manufacturing Sector” with Maria Veronica Magsino, deputy director general for finance and administration of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, and Olivia “Olive” Limpe Aw, president and CEO of Destileria Limtuaco and Co., Inc.

Another panel discussion on “Sustaining Economic Development through Sustainable Power – Navigating Adversities & Opportunities in the Power Sector” will include Francis Giles Puno, president and COO of First Gen Corp.; Raymond Ravelo, chief sustainability officer of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco); Richard Nethercott, president and CEO of the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines; and Jaime Urquijo, chief sustainability and risk officer of Ayala Corp. and a board director of ACEN.

The day-long forum will be hosted by Danie Laurel, news anchor for Cignal TV. Moderating the panel discussions will be BusinessWorld Editor-in-Chief Cathy Rose A. Garcia, alongside BusinessWorld reporters Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson and Justine Irish D. Tabile, BusinessWorld Corporate News Editor Arjay L. Balinbin, and TV5 News Anchor Jester Delos Santos.

Interested attendees may register at

This edition of BusinessWorld Economic Forum is presented by BusinessWorld Publishing Corp., and by GCash, Ayala Corp., and ACEN.

Additional support is provided by gold sponsors Globe Telecom and Metro Pacific Investments Corp., and silver sponsors BDO Unibank, Inc., Converge ICT Solutions, Inc., Federal Land, Inc., First Gen Corp., Federal Land NRE Global, Inc., GT Capital Holdings, Inc., Lazada Philippines, Megaworld Corp., National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., Smart Communications, Inc., San Miguel Corp., SM Supermalls, and Toyota Motor Philippines Corp.

Bronze sponsors are Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Astoria Hotels and Resorts, Citicore Renewable Energy Corp., EastWest Bank, FWD Insurance Philippines, Meralco, Megawide Construction Corp., RLC Residences, SGV & Co., SM Investments Corp., Wilcon Depot, Inc., and Santé Barley Philippines.

Partner organizations include Asian Consulting Group, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Bank Marketing Association of the Philippines, British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Franchise Association, Philippine Retailers Association; and media partners One News and The Philippine STAR.