Fidel Ramos keynote speaker
- An Asia-Pacific Outlook: China, Japan, the US and ASEAN
- Economic Growth and Sustainable Development
- Leadership Issues
- Opportunities in the Pacific Rim
- The Effects of Globalization
Fidel Ramos, president of the Philippines (1992-1998) and one of the leaders of the 1986 revolution that drove President Ferdinand Marcos from power. Born in Lingayen, in Pangasinan Province, Fidel Valdez Ramos was the son of a diplomat and legislator who served as secretary of foreign affairs. After winning a government scholarship to the United States Military Academy at West Point and studying engineering at the University of Illinois, Ramos saw active service in the Korean War (1950-1953) and the Vietnam War (1959-1975).
His service to the state continued through the Marcos years (1965-1986), during which he headed the Philippine Constabulary (now the Philippine National Police) and served as vice chief of staff of the armed forces for five years. Ramos was also identified as part of a group of close associates of the president. In February 1986, however, Ramos switched sides in the struggle for power and aligned himself with Corazon Aquino and the People Power Movement against Marcos. Ramos and Juan Ponce Enrile led the resistance to Marcos, which centered on two military camps. After the uprising, Aquino rewarded Ramos with a promotion to chief of staff of the armed forces and then, in January 1988, with the post of defense minister. Ramos increased his popularity during these years by helping to defeat a series of coup attempts against Aquino. Aquino nominated Ramos as her choice for president in the 1992 elections, which he won narrowly. As president, Ramos sought to control the country’s energy crisis and strengthen the economy.
At the time of his assumption into power, Ramos was the oldest person to become President of the Philippines at the age of 64. He was also the first Protestant President of the country and the only Filipino officer in history to have held every rank in the Philippine military from Second Lieutenant to Commander-in-Chief.
During his administration, Ramos began implementing economic reforms intended to open up the once-closed national economy, encourage private enterprise, invite more foreign and domestic investment, and reduce corruption. Ramos was also known as the most-traveled Philippine President compared to his predecessors with numerous foreign trips abroad, generating about US$20 billion worth of foreign investments to the Philippines. To ensure a positive financial outlook on the Philippines, Ramos led the 4th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in the Philippines on November 1996.
Under his administration, the Philippines enjoyed economic growth and stability. The Philippine Stock Exchange in the mid-1990s was one of the best in the world and his visions of ‚Philippines 2000’ that led the country into a newly industrialized country in the world and the „Tiger Cub Economy in Asia”.
Ramos is currently representing the Philippines in the ASEAN Eminent Persons Group, tasked to draft the Charter of the Association of South East Asian Nations. He was also a member of numerous international groups and fora, and is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Boao Forum for Asia (also one of the co-founders of BFA) and Co-Chairman of the Global Meeting of the Emerging Markets Forum.
At present, as a private citizen, Ramos is engaged in various private sector advocacies where he plays prominent roles. These include: Chairman, Ramos Peace and Development Foundation; Chairman, Boao Forum for Asia; Trustee, International Crisis Group (ICG); Member, Advisory Group, UN University for Peace; Honorary Director, General Douglas MacArthur Foundation; Founding Member, Policy Advisory Commission, World Intellectual Property Organization (PAC-WIPO); Honorary Member, World Commission on Water for the 21st century; Member, International Advisory Council, Asia House; Patron, Opportunity International (Philippines); Global Advisor, University of Winnipeg; Honorary Chairman, Yuchengco Center, De La Salle University; Member, Advisory Board, Metrobank; Honorary President, Human Development Network (HDN) Philippines; Lifetime Honorary President, Christian Democrats International (CDI); and Chairman Emeritus, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) Party.
He founded the Ramos Foundation for Peace and Development.