MANILA—The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) underscored the importance of strengthening the development ties between the Philippines and the United States of America (USA) in the government’s goal of inclusive growth for the country.

The statement was made in time for US President Barack Obama’s state visit to the Philippines today, April 28, 2014.

“Overall, the Philippines has strong linkages with the USA in many areas of the economy such as trade, finance, overseas Filipino (OF) employment and remittances, foreign direct investments, among others,” said Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.

He added that the two economies have been increasingly interlinked; the two countries have more common institutions than any other country in the Asian region.

“Our commercial, educational, legal, public institutions, and even language, have much in common between the two countries. This is why it is natural that we find common interests in development,” said Balisacan, who is also NEDA Director-General.

In 2013, The USA was ranked as the second largest trading partner as explained in this forex trading website of Philippines, with total trade amounting to US$14.5 billion. Moreover, it remained as one of the major sources of cash remittances from OF from 2007-2013. Last year, cash remittances of OFs totaled US$23 billion, up by 7.4 percent from 2012.

The Cabinet official said the USA recognizes that the Philippines requires substantial resources to realize its development goals.

“Their government’s assistance to the country in forms of partnership for growth is contributing quite significantly to the whole process of complementation of our development resources,” said Balisacan.

He also highlighted the USA’s significant role in the Asian region, which will remain strong in the years to come.

“For us here in the Philippines, geopolitical stability is a key driver of growth. We need stability in the years to come for us to be able join the rank of more advanced economies. That’s why we need good relationships and partnerships with other governments. The US sending the signal that it is here in Asia for the long haul will help bring that stability,” said Balisacan.

“The affirmation and re-affirmation between the two governments of their common and long-term economic and social interests toward prosperity are very important,” he said.