PHL economic team courtsUS investors, businessmen

American investors and businessmen should not pass up the opportunity to consider the Philippines as an investment destination as it is the best time to invest in the country, according to the President’s economic team.

In a Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) in New York City, the financial capital of the world, Finance Secretary and Chairman of the Economic Development Cluster Benjamin Diokno said the Philippines is already poised for higher growth given its strong macroeconomic fundamentals.

Diokno said potential foreign investors can benefit from the economy’s brightening outlook and bank on the government’s broad based and sustainable growth goals in the medium term.

“As we pursue the economic transformation of the Philippines in the next six years, the Marcos administration is determined to explore new frontiers with investors from the US and the rest of the world. This is why we believe that this is the best time to do business in the Philippines,” Diokno said.

Diokno said the medium-term goals of the government are underpinned by the enactment of key structural reforms, the full reopening of the economy, and a first-of-its-kind Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF).

The MTFF contains various measures that will promote fair and efficient tax administration in the country through digitalization as well as mainstream environmental sustainability initiatives to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Digitalization, Diokno added, will likewise play a key role in enhancing the efficiency of revenue collection in the country and modernizing its tax system.

He also presented significant developments in the country’s fiscal sector, including the recent enactment of economic liberalization measures that will further widen the space for joint ventures and foreign participation in strategic industries, making the Philippines a premier investment destination in the region.

“We have set in place structural reforms to establish a business-friendly environment for both domestic and foreign investors, and we anticipate significant benefits from the implementation of these structural reforms,” Diokno said.

Diokno also underscored how structural reforms will establish a business-friendly environment for both domestic and foreign investors.

These include the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, which has simplified the requirements for foreign retailers, and the amendment to the Foreign Investments Act which provides flexibility and transparency in the review of Foreign Investment Negative List.

These are key reforms that could further grow the cooperation between the two countries. To date, the US ranks as the Philippines’s third largest trading partner with total trade reaching $108.7 billion between 2016 and 2021.

The US is also the country’s fourth top source of foreign direct investments (FDI) at $1.35 billion total FDI over the same period and the biggest source of overseas Filipino remittances with over 4 million Filipinos living and working in the US.

“Our economic liberalization measures swing the doors open for international firms to invest in previously protected sectors—I call this a 90-year project—and you can now form joint ventures with Filipino companies,” Diokno said, adding that enterprises employing advanced technologies will greatly benefit from the new laws.

The high-level event was attended by 140 bank and financial institution analysts, investors, business groups and chambers, as well as credit rating agencies from around the world.

The PEB was co-organized by the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Investor Relations Group (BSP-IRG), in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C., the Consulate and Philippine Trade and Investment Center in New York, and partner banks: Bank of America Securities, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, SMBC Nikko, Standard Chartered Bank, and UBS.

Image credits: Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB