Australian Embassy
The Philippines

Australian Foreign Affairs, PCC Chair Balisacan Join ANU’s Philippine Update Conference 2016



Philippine Competition Chairman Arsenio Balisacan presented at the Philippine Update Conference 2016 at the Australian National University in Canberra. The Philippine Update Conference 2016 is a forum created to discuss the political, economic and social state of the Philippines under both the previous and current administration. It will focus on relevant issues in sustaining the growth momentum of the Philippine Economy from being the Sick Man of Asia to Asia’s Bright Spot.

“This conference is very timely in view of the recent gains being experienced by the Philippines - a 6.2 percent GDP growth average in six years, the highest record in about 40 years since the late 1970s. Though much has been accomplished, we need to continue the hard work to ensure that this growth becomes more enduring and more inclusive, to foster public welfare both in the short and long run.  I am confident that the Philippine Update Conference will greatly contribute to this goal,” PCC Chairman Balisacan said.    

The Australian Government, in partnership with the Australian National University organized the conference as part of the Philippines Project initiative that aims to encourage discourse on the country’s economic growth. The Philippines Project, with DFAT contribution of A$1.2 million (PHP40.8 million), supports the goals of Australia’s Aid Investment Plan in the Philippines 2015-16 to 2017-2018.

“The Australian Government supports the Philippine Update Conference 2016 in highlighting the Philippines’ remarkable economic performance in the recent years. We recognize these developments and is reflected in the priorities of our aid investments,” said Australian Embassy Charges d’Affaires Mat Kimberley. “Our goal is to create an economic partnership with trade, investment and aid working together to build prosperity.”

“Australia and the Philippines have been partners for development for many decades. Our development cooperation program in the Philippines is at PHP 2.8 billion (A$81.9M) and aligns with the development goals of the Administration.   We will continue to stand by the Philippines as a partner for change,” he added.

“Last year, our two countries signed The Joint Declaration on Philippines Australia Comprehensive Partnership which marks a new era for our bilateral relations. The Comprehensive Partnership acknowledges the breadth and depth of our relations and sets the tone, pace and direction of our relationship in the years ahead. It affirms our commitment to intensify cooperation across a broad range of activities, including on trade, development, defence, education, counter-terrorism, and transnational crime issues,” the Charges d’ Affaires stated.

The participants in the forum include Philippine Ambassador to Australia Minda Calaguian-Cruz, Senior Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade official Mr. Allaster Cox and Australian Embassy Officer Dr Paul Hutchcroft.

To know more about the Philippine Update 2016, visit:

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