AIM Policy Center Celebrates 10th Anniversary



The AIM Policy Center (APC) celebrated 10 Years Promoting Philippine Competitiveness with a Gala Dinner for partner institutions, government leaders, captains of industry, members of the academe and the diplomatic corps. Keynote speakers were Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Peter B. Favila. Speeches were also given by Mr. Klaus Preschle, Country Representative, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), and APC founder Mr. Washington Z. Sycip. Mr. Amos Helms, Head, Philippine Desk, KAS Headquarters, also attended the event.

In his address, Honorable Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita related the issue of Philippine competitiveness to the situation of a shop owner competing with shop owners with better branding and catchier slogans. How can the Philippines respond to an ever-changing market? He asked. “We need to get them consumers to step inside, and actually take a look at our shelves.” Ermita then detailed the President’s plan for a competitive Philippines – market competitive labor costs, regionally competitive factories, efficient transport of goods and people, a sense of general productivity in the Philippine environment, and ease in doing business in the country.

In his address, Trade and Industry Department Secretary Peter B. Favila, acknowledged the Policy Center’s contribution to the administration’s National Competitiveness Summit and promised “that the Summit will not merely be a talkfest. That is not the objective. On September 29, what we hope to produce is a very concrete to-do list that will have each of us—in government, business, academe, labor, civil society—as stakeholders. The output of the Summit will be a basis for synchronized and sustainable action from all of us.”

In his remarks, KAS Country Representative Klaus Preschle, highlighted KAS’ decade-long “partnership with the Asian Insitute of Management to support the building of a premier Philippine public policy think tank”, noting that KAS wanted to help “create an institution that would be trusted by the country’s leaders to give them expert and objective policy advice.” Mr. Sycip, in turn characterized APC’s work as “designed to contribute to enhancing understanding of the key ingredients of economic growth and prosperity.” “By highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of an economy,” APC offers policymakers and business leaders “important tools to assist them in the formulation of improved economic policies and institutional reforms” Sycip said.

Dr. Federico M. Macaranas, Executive Director of the AIM Policy Center, presented on the achievements and future direction of the APC’s research and policy-advocacy work in its core programs, the Global Competitiveness Program, the City Competitiveness Program, the Infrastructure Governance and Regulations Program, and the Mindanao Studies and Special Projects Program.

At the end of the evening, APC awarded founder, Mr. Washington Z. SyCip, and long-time partner and main donor, KAS, represented by Mr. Amos Helms and Mr. Klaus Preschle, with honorary tokens.

APC also recognized other organizations it has worked with like the Asia Foundation, the Management Association of the Philippines, the Makati Business Club, the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Foreign Affairs, Business World, International Labor Organization, Japan Foundation Manila, MIS Net, Philippine Center for Population and Development, Inc., United Nations Development Program, the World Bank, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), and the Asia Foundation.

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Klaus Preschle