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U.S. Government Launches Cities Development Initiative in Batangas City

BATANGAS CITY  - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City Government of Batangas to unleash the city’s full economic  potential through USAID’s Cities Development Initiative (CDI). USAID Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg and USAID/Philippines Mission Director Gloria D. Steele signed the MOU with Mayor Vilma Dimacuha.  The event was also witnessed by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Under secretaryMerly M. Cruz and other Batangas City officials and repr esentatives from the private sector, academia, and civil society organizations. “This partnership aims to address key constraints to economic growth and investment in Batangas City. The CDI will unlock and maximize the city’s growth potential through significant collaboration in areas such as education, energy, environment, health systems, and economic growth and investment,” Deputy Administrator Steinberg said. DA Steinberg is in the Philippines to attend the Asian  Development Bank’s 45th  Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors.  He will be among the panelists in the Development Partners SessionCooperation in a Changing World on May 5 where he will share his insights on recent changes in the global aid architecture and its implications for development cooperation in Asia. Mission Director Steele said, “CDI takes a unique and cross-cutting approach to pr omoting inclusive growth. Together with Iloilo City and Cagayan de Oro City, USAID has selected Batangas City to become a ‘center of growth’ because of its demonstrated economic potential.”  Identified as one of  the urban growth centers in the Philippines, Batangas City has an international port and recently completed  access roads that provide a faster and more efficient route for exploring and penetrating markets in nearby provinces and regions. “The initiative is built on the premise that economic growth and job creation are closely linked to urban development, where cities act as engines  of  economic growth,” Director Steele said. “The CDI seeks to promote  economic growth outside of Metro Manila to disperse economic opportunity in the Philippines as it moves from a low growth path to a higher, sustained, and more inclusive growth trajectory in line with other high-performing emerging economies.” The Cities Development Initiative is an integral part of the U.S.-Philippines Partnership for Growth (PFG).  Launched in November 2011 by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, PFG is helping the Philippines achieve its high growth potential by creating a more transparent, predictable, and consistent legal and regulatory regime; fostering a more open and competitive business environment; strengthening the rule of law; and supporting fiscal stability. “The PFG will be carried out in the spirit of mutual responsibility, embracing commitments by the Philippine government to take the necessary actions to promote inclusive growth,” Director Steele said. 

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