Marcos tells US businesses: Investing in ‘rising economic star’ PH is smart choice
MANILA, Philippines — Calling the Philippines Asia’s “fastest rising economic star,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday night made a pitch before businessmen and banks in the United States that investing in the country is a “smart investment choice.”
In a speech during the Philippine Economic Forum, Marcos said his administration will make investments from both domestic and international businesses more viable, especially those that focus on job creation and digital infrastructure.
“To secure the Philippines’ bright economic future, my government will swing the doors even wider for high value investments from both the domestic and international business communities, with a sharp focus on broad-based job creation, the expansion of digital infrastructure, research, and development,” the President said.
“It is our belief that the Philippines is the smart investment choice, and the time to do business with us is now. We have grand opportunities, the timing, the window of opportunities for investments and especially in capital-intensive investments in the Philippines which is what we need now, we believe the time is now,” he added.
According to Marcos, the government has instituted structural reforms that would allow wider participation for businesses, noting that the Philippine government has expanded the space for foreign investments including those “in previously protected sectors”.
“Key structural reforms have been set into place, to allow for wider participation in our industries, with the corporate recovery and tax incentives for enterprises act, or what we refer to as CREATE, and the economic liberalization measures, we have expanded the space for foreign investments in previously protected sectors, especially those that employ advanced technologies, and research and development activities,” he said.
“Thank you very much for your continuing interest and thank you very much for joining us at this briefing, and I am sure that it will be useful for both the sides — the Philippine side, both in the government side, and in the private sector side, and for our potential US investors. I look forward to seeing you all as we open your businesses back in the Philippines,” he added.
Marcos also bared to the US business sector that infrastructure programs would continue through the public-private partnership scheme while agriculture would be a key sector to ensure food security.
“We will continue our high investments in public infrastructure by harnessing our public-private partnership mechanism, we will improve the interconnectivity of our transport networks by fast tracking the development and enhancement of our railway systems, our airports, seaports, and road infrastructure,” he said.
“We will focus on agriculture as a strong driver for growth. An efficient and modern agriculture sector will ensure food security for all and reduce poverty incidence,” he added.
The country, the President said, would also invigorate the tourism sector and ensure safe travels and reopening amid the still looming threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will also invigorate the tourism sector by investing in travel infrastructure, and the promotion of the Filipino brand. With the Department of Tourism leading our efforts to revitalize both domestic and foreign tourism, we will ensure the safe reopening of tourist destinations and develop the Philippines’ yet to be discovered attractions,” Marcos explained.
“And therefore, we invite strategic investors from the United States to take part in this Philippines economic resurgence,” he added.
During the briefing, members of the Philippine delegation, particularly the economic cluster, were present to brief businesses about possible areas of investment in the country.
Several business magnates from the Philippines were also present to talk with foreign counterparts about possible tie-ups and partnerships.
Budget Undersecretary Margaux Salcedo and Central Bank Managing Director Tony Lambino, who hosted the event, said that the following banks partnered with Philippine authorities in setting up the first Philippine Economic Forum in North America under the Marcos’ administration:
- Bank of America Securities
- Goldman Sachs
- J.P. Morgan
- Morgan Stanley
- SMBC Nikko
- Standard Chartered Bank
Marcos is currently in the United States for a series of engagements, starting with meeting the Filipino community in New Jersey, other talks, and a speech before the 77th United Nations General Assembly.
Later today, Marcos is expected to meet with US President Joe Biden for the first bilateral talks between the two leaders.
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