President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. invited foreign businesses to invest in the Philippines as he emphasized that the country is open for business and is ready to partner with them in shaping a brighter future for everyone.
“As we stand here discussing ways how we can collaborate, I invite each one of you to consider the Philippines as a strategic partner in your journey. Our story is one of promise, of potential, and of endless opportunities and all waiting to be harnessed,” President Marcos said in his keynote address at the 10th Asia Summit Fireside Chat held on Wednesday in Singapore.
“Let us embark on this path together, united in our commitment to economic progress, social inclusion, [and] sustainable development. The Philippines is open for business. We invite you to join us in shaping a brighter future for us all,” he added.
President Marcos said that there is a good reason to choose the Philippines as an investment destination.
The President also noted that despite high inflation and global market instability, the Philippine economy grew by 7.6 percent last year, the fastest rate of growth recorded by the country since 1976, when his father was the sitting President.
Economic expansion is expected to continue this year with global institutions such as the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) projecting that the Philippines will grow around 6 percent in 2023, he noted.
The President also pointed to the country’s large market—comprising of 110 million consumers—, the recently launched Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), and the newly passed regulatory reforms, which liberalized many sectors, including public services, retail, and renewable energy, among others.
They are expected to encourage private investment and bolster the growth of the economy over the medium term.
In terms of areas for investment, he said, the Philippines offers a myriad of opportunities across various sectors from digital and renewable energy to manufacturing and tourism.
Another strength of the Philippines is its educated and English-speaking workforce which has propelled it onto the global stage, especially in the area of business process outsourcing (BPO).
It is the top choice for the delivery of customer support and healthcare services and one of the top destinations for outsourcing overall, second only to India, with several data centers already operating in the Philippines, including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta, among many others, he said.
To improve its capacities as a manufacturing hub, Marcos said his government continuously invests in vocational and technical education to ensure that the Filipino workforce remains globally competitive.
“Our skilled and English-speaking workforce is also one of the reasons why many manufacturing companies have chosen to locate in the Philippines,” he said.
Recognizing the pivotal role that infrastructure plays in unlocking growth, he welcomed foreign investors to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the country’s infrastructure program.
“In the spirit of collaboration, our government actively engages in public-private partnerships (PPP). Our successful PPP projects demonstrate our commitment to provide services to our public while delivering goods and returns to our investors,” said the President.
“We open our doors to international developers and construction companies who wish to take part in the infrastructure development of our country.”
The Philippines is also committed to sustainable development, the President said, noting that it is embracing renewable energy as it welcomes 100 percent foreign ownership of renewable energy projects.
It is also actively promoting investment in smart and sustainable agriculture, aligning its priorities with global goals to achieve food security and conserve natural resources for future generations.
To those who are looking to invest in the Philippines, he said, “We offer incentives, tax breaks, and robust legal frameworks that safeguard the interests of foreign investors. Intellectual property rights are protected, ensuring that innovation flourishes within our borders.”
“We also note that geopolitical stability and regional cooperation are cornerstones of our foreign policy. We are dedicated to peaceful relations and collaboration that foster a conducive investment and business climate.”
Marcos is the first sitting Philippine President to address the Milken Institute’s Asia Summit, where he discussed priority policies and programs before economic managers and business leaders.
Aside from the President, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim will also be addressing the annual gathering.
The Asia Summit 2023 focuses its discussions on issues about peace and stability, inequality, cultural differences, and irreparable environmental damage.
Hosted by the Milken Institute, a non-profit think tank, the Asia Summit holds a decade-long work that focuses on public health, environmentalism, economic policy, and globalization. | PND
(Photo courtesy of Presidential Communications Office)