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Foreign Business Execs Approve of Wealth Fund

Foreign business leaders in the country agree that if properly implemented, the Maharlika Wealth Fund (MWF) could be very beneficial for the Philippines. The Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines Executive Director Lorens Ziller believes a sovereign wealth fund will make the country an attractive destination for investors from all over the world. "There can be immediate actions to investments made, when it is actually needed at the right time," Ziller said during The Manila Times Roundtable interview on Friday

(From left) Jesper Svenningsen, executive director of the Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines; Lorens Ziller, executive director of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines; Chris Nelson, executive director of the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines join Dante ‘Klink’ Ang 2nd, chairman and CEO of The Manila Times, in a discussion on the Philippines’ economic recovery, the wealth fund and the business climate in the country, among others, at the Times office in Manila on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA

The MWF is a sovereign fund, which the government will use to invest in a wide range of outlets such as foreign currencies, fixed-income instruments, domestic and foreign corporate bonds, commercial real estate, and infrastructure projects. Chris Nelson, executive director and trustee of the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, also underscored the benefits of institutionalizing the proposed MWF during the roundtable, which was hosted by The Manila Times Chairman and CEO Dante "Klink" Ang 2nd.

Nelson noted that many wealth funds have been successfully managed and delivered results."I think more than a hundred of them with France and Norway having the largest one, including Singapore's trade funds," he said. "The whole key to a wealth fund or at least the one being proposed here is to look at longer term investments because a lot of the other wealth funds do invest across the world," Nelson said. Nelson said he saw the wisdom in President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. scheduling the "soft launch" of the MWF during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, which starts on January 16."It is really a good idea to bring up the MWF in Davos because you cannot isolate the Philippines from what is happening across the world, more so because of the two-year pandemic