Under New Management: Can the Philippines Tiger Economy Continue to Roar?

15 JUNE 2017

4th CFO Innovation Philippines Forum

"The Philippine economy will continue to be robust and outperform its Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) peers in 2017," First Metro President, Rabboni Francis Arjonillo

The new government’s commitment to initiate a series of economic reforms to boost job creation and attract foreign direct investment (FDI) will remain the most important step in ensuring continued strong growth this year. However, will this be enough against the risks and threats the country faces?

Six months into the US presidency, President Trump has withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and espoused an “America First” policy. American outsourcing companies, which account for 70% of the Philippines BPO market, have deferred their expansion plans. Meanwhile, China’s economic slowdown and depreciation of RMB put some pressure on export businesses. AEC integration intended to accelerate economic growth in the region, could impose great cost and unforeseeable challenges, given the economic developmental gap among the ASEAN countries. At home, the ongoing tax reforms remain ambiguous for CFOs to take a proactive stance.

Yet, despite the overall weak global outlook, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the Philippines to book the fastest economic growth in the region over the next two years of 6.8% for 2017 and 6.9% for 2018, thanks to a strong rebound in export earnings due in part to a weakening peso. This is despite negative international perceptions about Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly anti-drugs war.

What strategic financial planning and business transformation initiatives do CFOs need to embark on to thrive in today’s challenging economy and make the best of the country’s rapid growth? As technological innovation continues to accelerate business models and operational processes, what can CFOs do to help their organizations maintain a competitive edge?

This forum aims to provide CFOs and other senior finance executives with strategic guidance on what to expect in this time of global and domestic uncertainties.

The forum is designed as a platform to share the collective wisdom of Philippine’s CFO community and the insights of subject matter experts around the below areas:

  • Challenges and opportunities arising from global changes post-elections in the US, China’s economic readjustment and AEC Integration
  • Managing risks around global currency fluctuations and volatility
  • Important taxation updates and development in Philippines and ASEAN countries
  • Technological innovation on business models, operations and finance talent management
  • CFO’s strategic role transformation in the digital era

Who will attend?

  • Chief Finance Officer (CFO)
  • Chief Accountant
  • Finance Director
  • VP Finance
  • Finance Controller
  • GM/ Head of Finance
  • Head/ Director of Treasury
  • Chief Accountant
  • Director of Internal Audit
  • Risk Manager
  • Account/ Finance Manager
  • Other senior level finance executives
The discussions were very insightful with CFOs coming from different industry spaces sharing how technology has affected them personally and their roles in their respective companies, and how marketing intertwines with the decision-making of the CFOs.
CFO Innovation Philippines Forum is an extremely well-organized forum to discuss key issues and concerns of CFOs that are not only relevant, but forward-thinking. The conference sponsors are well integrated into the event and share actual case studies of clients in the Philippines. I highly recommend financial professionals to attend this very important event.
The CFO Innovation Forum is a first-rate venue to extract amazing insights and linkages between economic-political developments and on-the-ground experiences of top Finance professionals.
Head of Finance, Country Controller, and Treasurer of the Board of Directors - JONES LANG LASALLE


Registration and Refreshment
Chairman’s Opening Remarks

Opening Keynote: Philippines Economic Outlook for 2017 and Beyond

On the back of high capital investment by the government, opening up the economy to foreign direct investment and stronger consumer spending, the Philippines is projected to continue its stellar economic growth in 2017. However, there are external economic dampeners, such as the ongoing normalization of interest rates by the US Federal Reserve, protectionist policy of the Trump administration, and slow recovery in the country’s major trade partners like Japan and the European Union. What are the financial risks and opportunities in 2017 in this optimistic yet volatile environment? How will the increasingly unpredictable global and regional economic conditions affect the Philippines’s growth? How does a stronger greenback impact Philippine’s economy?

Executive Dialogue: Discovering Business Opportunities, Preparing for the Threats in the New World Order

Despite an uncertain external environment and weak regional growth, the Philippines continues to stand out as one of the strongest performers among its neighboring countries. From AFTA to AEC integration, what are the benefits and challenges? Which sectors will greatly benefit or have opportunities with the integration? What strategies could be used to deal with emerging global financial trends? How can CFOs look ahead and react fast to the opportunities and threats? This session aims to translate the external impact to internal performance, assess the opportunities and risks, and examine the best strategy to seize the positive prospects.

Networking Morning Coffee
Expert Insight: Taxation Updates in Philippines and ASEAN

Tax reform, one of the salient features of the Duterte administration’s economic agenda, is aimed at raising funds for the government’s infrastructure program and at promoting strong and inclusive growth. Six months into 2017, do we now have a clear understanding of the tax reform package? Will the Philippines join other countries in Asia in implementing the BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) initiative of the OECD and G20 countries? What are the BEPS taxation implications on transfer pricing rules in the Philippines?

This session will focus on the tax reform outlook, how it affects the businesses and dive deeper into some of the key tax development in Philippines and ASEAN countries.

Executive Discussion: Managing Currency Fluctuations in an Uncertain Global Economy

Against the backdrop of global economic uncertainty, companies should take action now to establish a solid FX strategy or face the consequences of financial loss simply from lack of planning against currency risk. The Philippine peso is forecast to remain under pressure as the US economy continues to gain traction, leading to the strengthening of the US dollar. How well-prepared are companies to handle currency fluctuations?

Executive Discussion: CFO Role Transformation – Becoming a Perceptive Business Advisor

By adopting a careful but entrepreneurial approach to risk, CFOs can be counted on to steer the company’s development and help it navigate macro-economic volatility. Going beyond delivering numbers and facts, the CFO is expected to use real-time data to generate real-time insights, enable the FP&A process to become more proactive, and add value to business decision-making to seize the right market opportunities. This panel will focus on the following:

  • What are characteristics and skills of a digital CFO? Will the rise of fintech require new expertise and change in mindsets?
  • How can CFOs truly transform themselves and their teams into strategic business partners? What are the obstacles in the transformation and how are they resolved?
  • What are the skills and analytics capabilities needed in the insight-generation process?

Networking Lunch
Executive Discussion: CFO’s Survival Toolkit in the Digital Storm

  • What are the most significant technological changes that have an impact on the way CFOs and their team work?
  • What are CFOs actually thinking with regards to robots? What are the real benefits of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)? What assurances do the CFOs need to move forward? What are the implications of RPA on the organization?
  • What are the barriers to digital transformation in the Philippines?
  • How can CFOs make the most of human ingenuity to counter technology that potentially replaces many conventional jobs in the future? 

Executive Discussion: Developing a Successful Big Data Integration and Alignment Strategy

Real-time data is key to seamless financial planning and forecasting. High performing FP&A teams collaborate with business partners from across the organization to gather data. The data is used to identify gaps in their processes and systems so as to create actionable and valuable business insights. This panel will focus on:

  • Using real-time big data to anticipate and respond quickly to changes in demand
  • Developing and managing collaborative forecasts and integrated planning process
  • Bringing strategic planning, finance, supply chain, sales, marketing and product development into a unified planning operating model
  • Developing capabilities and competencies to exploit big data
  • Overcoming barriers to big data alignment across the company

Presentation by TMF
Networking Afternoon Coffee
Executive Discussion: Cybersecurity and Cloud – Maximizing the Cost Advantages and Flexibility of Cloud

As many companies have already deployed cloud-based systems, the session aims to take the discussion to the next level by addressing actual implementation issues and security concerns.

  • Sharing insightful experience of deploying cloud – Change management, obstacles, limitations
  • Managing associated risk particularly in relation to data security and compliance with different regulatory regimes
  • Devising defense strategy and information security programs to protect from hacking and cybercrime
  • Preparing your team for cyber resilience and contingency plans due to cybercrime

Executive Discussion: Cultivating Future-Proof Finance Talents

Today, the finance function can encompass diverse generations in the workforce. Differences ranging from communication styles to differing expectations and needs due to generation gap, to the familiarity of technology used are causing conflicts. Advancements in AI and robotics will eventually lead to substantial job losses in the near future, as many basic and repetitive works will be taken over by technology.

  • What problems arise in a workplace with several generations of employees? What are the Gen Z looking for in a career?
  • What leadership styles should a CFO adopt to enable the real transformation of the finance function in the digital age?
  • Which are the roles and finance function capabilities likely to be automated, semi-automated, or handled by humans?
  • What skillsets should both seasoned and young finance talents possess to enable working with (not getting replaced by) robots?

Lucky Draw and End of Conference


Coming Soon...


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Supporting Partners


Dusit Thani Manila
Ayala Centre, 1223 Makati City Metro Manila, Philippines

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Simon Man


+852 2589 1320

speaking opportunities

Sutha O`Connell


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Nigel Standley


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