Recto: PH heartily welcomes US investors

Department of Finance Secretary Ralph Recto has assured United States officials of the Philippines’ strong commitment to roll out a welcoming “red carpet” to potential investors in the country as directed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

In a statement, the Finance department said Recto recently met with US officials led by Treasury Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia Robert Kaproth on Monday to discuss efforts to further strengthen ties and boost economic and investment cooperation between the Philippines and the US.

During the meeting, Recto assured that the government would act faster in addressing investor concerns. He also laid out the country’s economic liberalization laws that would further facilitate ease of doing business in the country. These include amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, the Foreign Investments Act, and the Public Service Act.

Recto also highlighted that the Philippines recently improved its public-private partnership (PPP) framework through the enactment of the PPP Code, which would open up investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector.

Included in the priority sectors for infrastructure investments, he said, are renewable energy, water, airports, seaports, roads, tollways and railways.

Recto said the government is also currently studying the amendments to the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act to further improve the law and further tailor-fit the interests of investors in strategic investments.

He assured the US officials that their government’s partnership with the Philippines would be a two-way street and emphasized the importance of consistent dialogue. He also opened up the potential of having a free trade agreement with the US and further enhancing security and military ties between the two nations.

The Finance department said the US officials welcomed these developments and expressed optimism about further deepening partnership with the Philippines, pointing out that the country’s young, English-speaking population and strong macroeconomic fundamentals underscore its attractiveness as a viable investment destination.

The US likewise expressed interest in helping the Philippines establish an investment mechanism to help it screen foreign direct investments (FDIs) for national security purposes.

Joining Recto in the meeting were Chief of Staff and Undersecretary Alu Dorotan Tiuseco; Undersecretary Maria Edita Tan of the International Finance Group (IFG); and Assistant Secretary Eufrocinio Bernabe Jr. of the Office of the Chief Economist.

Other key US government officials in the meeting were US Treasury Financial Attaché to Southeast Asia Daniel Hall; and US Embassy to the Philippines representatives Chargé d’affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Ewing, Economic Counselor Phil Nervig, and Economic Officer Eileen Vickery.

Recto said another high-level delegation from the US government is expected to visit the Philippines in March to further strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries. 

Photo courtesy of DOF