31 August 2020, Frankfurt – The Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt conducted last 29 August its maiden online event for members of the Filipino-German community in its jurisdiction with the Economic Diplomacy Webinar on Financial Literacy. An online presentation of the subject was deemed fitting and timely, considering the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic in many people’s lives, including overseas Filipinos.
Consul General Evelyn Austria-Garcia provided the welcome remarks. She extended her warmest greetings to kababayans in Southern Germany, who set aside their Saturday morning, to take part in the event. She added that the current situation has obligated the Consulate to utilize such non-traditional means to reach out to its constituents.
“This webinar is also an offshoot of the investment roadshow conducted by the Management Association of the Philippines in Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich last year, as there was a clamor from audience members to convene a forum on Financial Literacy. It also takes the place of the Business Forum the Consulate planned during the Barrio Fiesta, which unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the German Government’s Covid-19 restrictions,” Consul General Austria-Garcia said.
Two distinguished panelists were on hand for the occasion. Mr. Rafael Consing, who is the Chief Financial Officer of International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), discussed the importance of being financially literate and having sound financial management skills. He provided practical advice on saving and the wise use of funds, and enumerated the various investment outlets available in the market, from short-term money market instruments, such as treasury bills, commercial papers and mutual funds, to the more volatile stock market, which has the potential to generate higher returns in the long run.
Mr. Consing is an accomplished finance executive with extensive experience in investment banking and global markets, corporate treasury and finance, investor relations, global insurance and risk management. He assumed various roles in several leading financial institutions, including HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Bankers Trust and ING Barings. He served as Vice President and Treasurer of Aboitiz & Company, before joining ICTSI, one of the top port operators in the world. Mr. Consing is a sought after speaker on the subject and has been the recipient of several accolades, including being recognized by the Corporate Governance Asia as Asia’s Best CFO for Investor Relations, inclusion in Institutional Investor’s All-Asia Executive Team, twice being named Best CFO in the Philippines by Alpha Southeast Asia, CFO of the Year by CFO Innovation, and Treasurer of the Year-Philippines by The Asset.
Mr. Arnel Talisayon, on the other hand, centered his presentation to those with a higher tolerance for risk and a more entrepreneurial mindset. He discussed the opportunities and challenges in engaging in a business. He talked about the common mistakes made by overseas Filipinos and practical matters that can be expected with startups in the Philippines. He also delved on other important aspects of financial education, such as retirement and social security, and addressed the question: is establishing a business the ultimate goal of financial education?
Mr. Talisayon currently serves as Consul General at the Philippine Mission/Consulate General in Geneva and also handles intellectual property issues. He began teaching Financial Education to overseas Filipinos while on assignment at the Philippine Embassy in South Korea. He graduated from the UP College of Business Administration, studied Business and Economics as a fulltime exchange student at the Meiji Gakuin University in Japan and was a student fellow in Communication Studies at the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore.
The forum was capped with a question-and-answer session, as viewers were able to post their questions through the FB’s comments section. The activity was held via Zoom and simultaneously streamed live in the Consulate’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/PHinFrankfurt/, where it may still be viewed by interested parties. Fifty-one attendees viewed the live proceedings and a video recording of the webinar has been seen over 1,900 times in just 2 days. (END)