Key economic reforms make the Philippines an attractive destination for foreign investors, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said over the weekend.
In a meeting with Thai business leaders in Bangkok, Pascual echoed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and said Thai businesses should seize the opportunity of investing in the Philippines and take advantage of the country’s improved business climate.
“Friends, the Philippines is open for business… We have undertaken a number of reforms to make the Philippines even more attractive for investors and businesses,” Pascual said in his speech.
To ease foreign ownership restrictions and entice investors, the Trade chief said the government had amended the Public Service Act, the Foreign Investment Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act.
“We’ve also enacted the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act or CREATE, which reduces corporate income tax and provides tier-specific incentives for foreign investors,” Pascual said.
This law also gives the President the ability to design support packages for highly desirable projects, he added.
The Trade chief also cited policies that seek to expand and diversify trade and investment and ensure competitiveness in the business sector.
“Partners, one of our goals is to develop globally competitive and innovative industries that support inclusive and sustainable growth.
For this, we’re also integrating trade, investment promotion and industry development policies,” said the Trade secretary.
In the meeting, Thai industries expressed interest in investing in the Philippines in a wide range of areas that include infrastructure, transportation, tourism, and food security.
Kriengkrai Thiennukul, Federation of Thai Industries chairman, said through stronger partnerships between the Philippines and Thailand, the two countries can help each other in bolstering economic growth.
“We are ready to support… investing in food security and infrastructure such as transportation and promoting tourism with the Philippines to enhance the business sector for mutual expansion between the two countries in the future,” Thiennukul said.
Thiennukul also took note of the similar problems faced by both Asian economies, which include the impact of climate change on the supply chain, the pandemic and global political instability.
“In this current situation, it is necessary to revitalize the economic sectors, especially the focus on sustainable development. We have the same goal to focus on the joint development of public health, especially in the ASEAN Framework. The development of the digital economy, the use of the digitalization and implementation of BCG Model in revitalizing the economy,” the Thai business leader pointed out.
The meeting with Thai businesses is part of President Marcos Jr.’s bid to woo investments and strengthen economic cooperation between the Philippines and its ASEAN neighbors.