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Filipino-Americans' contribution to US economy

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US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, who visited the Philippines on June 4, 2014, has recognized the substantial contribution of Filipino-Americans to the US economy.

In a speech before the American Chamber of Philippines, Management Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Secretary Pritzker said about "4 million people of Philippine heritage contribute to the fabric of America."

She said more than 160,000 Filipino-owned businesses help drive the US economy every day.
Secretary Pritzker said among her dear friends of Filipino descent are Rhoda and Manny Valdez and Jaime August Zobel de Ayala.  "Jaime and I went to college together and remain in close contact. Of course those college stories will remain in college," she said.

She highlighted the special bonds between the two countries.  "Not only are America’s bonds with the Philippines truly special, our presence throughout the Asia-Pacific region is longstanding," she said.

Secretary Pritzker noted said through the Philippines, the US expanded its ties with the Asia-Pacific region.

"The US has been actively trading throughout the Pacific since the first American vessel Astrea reached Manila in 1797.  Today, the United States and the Philippines share a $24 billion per year trade relationship. And more broadly, American exports to the region now support more than 3 million US jobs," she said.

"The Asia-Pacific region has become a significant market for American products and services – and sales to and investments in the region by U.S. companies serve as the foundation for good jobs here and in the United States," she said.

She said inbound investment to the United States has been growing fast. "Just from the Philippines’ alone, foreign direct investment in the United States more than doubled between 2011 and 2012. And foreign direct investment from Asia now supports more than 970,000 US jobs," she said.

She said Asia-Pacific region will support the growth of the US and the world economic in the coming years.

"By 2022, the Asia-Pacific region will be home to 54 percent of the world’s middle class; By 2022, Asia-Pacific nations will import nearly $10 trillion of goods and services, nearly two-and-a-half times more than they do today. And through 2020, more than $1 trillion of infrastructure investment is needed in ASEAN to meet the demands of a growing population," she said.

Secretary Fritzker said the Asia-Pacific region will be an engine of global growth over the next decade, which will have a profound impact on how—and where—the world does business. 

"American firms want to be part of the solution as countries across the region look to support a growing middle class, develop world-class infrastructure, unleash sustainable energy, and invest in their futures. Our firms are also here for the long-term and want to help you reach your goals," she said.

"As true partners, the United States and the Philippines lift each other.  Our commitment remains steadfast and our fortunes will rise together," she said.

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