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Foreign chambers promise to deliver $50-b investments

The Joint Foreign Chambers on Wednesday renewed its commitment to deliver up to $50 billion in foreign direct investments and generate 3 million jobs over the next 10 years.

“As Arangkada Philippines starts its second decade, the Joint Foreign Chambers is setting a new target for the next decade of $50 billion in foreign investment and 3 million new jobs from the Philippines. After all, the word Arangkada means to accelerate,” American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines president Peter Hayden said in a virtual conference during the second day of the Arangkada Project Philippines 2020.

Hayden said the combined investments from companies belonging to foreign chambers reached $8.3 billion in the last 5 years from 2015 to 2019, almost hitting the $10-billion target set in 2010.

He said the government and investment promotion agencies were instrumental in achieving the previous targets and that the chambers would continue to expect the same level of commitment from the government to reach the full potential of the new targets.

“We’ve agreed to announce our new target for added foreign direct investment and jobs in the Philippines. Just 10 years ago, we targeted $10 billion in additional FDI and 1 million additional new jobs, assuming reforms are being made. I’m pleased to announce that these targets were achieved,” he said.

Hayden said the JFC continued to believe in the enormous potential of the Philippines to generate FDI with the right policies for investment.

European Chamber of Commerce president Francis Nabil said that given the economic impact of the pandemic, the Philippines future was not canceled, but “it was postponed.”

“We are optimistic [of the target]. It’s important for us to be in a position to unfold this potential, and if we want to deliver, if we want to achieve this target, we will have to decisive, and to work hand in hand with the government as the JFC has always been doing. If we just sit at this, this will not be realized,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines said the lifting of the ban on open pit mining could unlock the potential of $1.8 billion in additional exports and about P12 billion in revenues for the government.

CMP president Gerard Brimo said an additional revenue stream was expected from three major open-pit projects that were forced to shut down when the ban was enforced.

“So you can imagine the social development that can take place in these areas in Mindanao,” he said in his remarks during the Arangkada forum.

He said these projects are the Kingking mining project in Davao, the Tampakan mining project in South Cotabato and the Silangan Mining project of Philex Mining Corp. in Surigao del Norte.

“These projects are all in Mindanao. And we all know that Mindanao is crying for projects and for development. If these projects are allowed to go forward, IP royalties for the indigenous peoples could go beyond the current amount of royalties which is over P600 million a year,” Brimo said.

He said the projected P12 billion in additional revenue from mining would be 50 percent more than what the sector pays the government at present.

Local governments will also get their share of up to P1.5 billion in estimated LGU taxes or double what the local governments receive today, Brimo said.

Topics: Joint Foreign Chambers , foreign direct investments , Arangkada Project Philippines 2020
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