CLOSING REMARKS By: Mr. Francis I. Ferrer PHILEXPORT Trustee – Electronics Sector 4th Quarter General Membership Meeting Oct. 30, 2008 * Sofitel Hotel * 1- 5 p.m. My fellow members in the PHILEXPORT Board, our special, exporters, friends, ladies and gentlemen: On behalf of the PHILEXPORT Board, I wish to express our gratitude to all of you who participated in this meeting. Although limited in resources and sometimes fragmented in our strategies, the presentations we heard have re-affirmed my belief on the indomitable spirit of the Filipino. Facing one crisis after another, one disaster after another, one problem after another, we have managed to rise above ourselves and the situations we face and end up in many occasions winning our cause. Specifically this afternoon, we saw that despite claims of logistics and procedural problems here and there, there are concrete programs and projects delivered already. And there are commitments for more developments. We hope that for one, the Customs and Tariff Modernization Act will be acceptable to Congress and serve as the substitute bill for the Anti- smuggling versions that have been pending at the Senate and the House. We are endorsing the Act in principle, subject to certain amendments to address export issues, considering that this is meant to be the omnibus code for our Customs policies. There is no denying the relevance of infrastructure investments to help spur trade and development in the country. In transport, we agree that a critical cost-reduction factor is volume and turn-around time. How the export industry can meet these requirements amidst the various internal and external challenges these days is again another issue altogether. Through all these, we need to act together even as we also plan together so we avoid building bridges that lead to nowhere, for example, or policies that negate and conflict with one another. But as rightfully pointed out in the reactions, the next important thing is to sustain these gains, improve on them and use them to our advantage. Then, we need to face and address the other issues that provide the weakest links to increasing our competitiveness. Bureaucracy, transparency, efficiency in varying degrees and situations are still some of them. On another note, may I also take this privilege to invite you to our next meeting which is on December 4, Thursday, for our Christmas party also in this hotel. We shall deviate from our tradition of having the formal meeting and party together, but instead simply fellowship, network and enjoy each other’s company. The invitations will soon be sent to you. Note that there will be the usual group and individual competitions with prizes. So dig up your closet for the best Hollywood attire this Christmas and let’s celebrate the holidays together! Finally, thank you once again to all of you, especially our speakers, donors and partners in this activity. We hope that this has been a meaningful activity for all of us. Good afternoon and mabuhay!