Japanese companies urged to invest in PH’s economic outlook
MANILA – Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III presented Japanese investors with the Philippines’ “bright economic outlook”, supported by a strong financial situation and the revolutionary initiatives of the Duterte administration, urging them to participate in the country’s transition to a “new and better” post-pandemic recovery.
“The Philippines is more than ready for a new and better normal,” he said, stressing that business partnerships with Japan can be strengthened in the areas of infrastructure development, manufacturing, digital technology, renewable energies (RE) and research and development (R&D) Activities.
“We have come through a difficult episode and proven that our institutions are strong enough to ensure the security and prosperity of our people. We have laid a solid foundation for a stable recovery towards a more inclusive economy. We have what it takes to do it, ”Dominguez said at the Philippines Virtual Economic Briefing (PEB) on Wednesday attended by key government officials and business leaders from Japan.
He said that these “game changers” in the country’s business landscape include the accelerated digitization agenda across the Philippine bureaucracy; the timely adoption of the corporate tax reform law (IS); the establishment of a national identification system; measures to further improve the ease of doing business; the sustained modernization of the country’s infrastructure as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s flagship program “Build, Build, Build; And the government’s ambitious plan to adapt and mitigate the impact of climate change.
As 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infections now decline at a steady rate amid the Philippines’ large-scale vaccination campaign, Dominguez reiterated the economics team’s earlier assessment that a reopening full economy may occur by the start of the new year. .
Dominguez thanked the government and people of Japan for helping the Philippines fight the pandemic, with their budget support and donation of one million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.
In addition to being the Philippines’ largest official development assistance (ODA) provider, he said Japan is also a strong supporter of the “Build, Build, Build” program through 26 outstanding loans that cover various expensive projects including the country project. the very first underground rail system – the Manila Metro.
Despite Covid-19, annual foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows from Japan have not declined but have even increased by 45% compared to the pre-pandemic period, making it the second largest source of IDE from the Philippines under the chairmanship of Duterte.
Japan is also the Philippines’ top export market, he said.
“All these facts show how much Japan has become a valuable partner in our history of development. We are optimistic that Japan will continue to play a key role in our economic recovery, ”he said.
Dominguez said he expects the economy’s 7.1 percent growth in the third quarter, along with rising FDI, a healthy financial position and continued fiscal discipline, to lead to better performance in the country. gross domestic product (GDP) in the last quarter of the year.
“With prospects for improving the economy, we expect to do even better in the fourth quarter as we continue to ease mobility restrictions,” he added.
Inviting Japanese investors “to get involved in (Philippine’s) game-changing companies,” Dominguez cited government measures for the transition to a digital economy, such as the use of electronic channels by major agencies generating revenues to enable them to exceed their collection goals and the migration of online transactions to develop broad and inclusive capital markets, such as those initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr ).
Dominguez also highlighted the timely passage of the Business Recovery and Tax Incentives for Businesses Act (CREATE), which now offers businesses the largest stimulus package ever created to help them recover from the crisis. pandemic, and who modernized the system of tax incentives to encourage higher value and value. investments that create jobs and innovation in the country.
“With CREATE, we see opportunities to strengthen investments and business partnerships with Japan, especially in the areas of manufacturing, digital technology, renewable energy and research and development activities,” he said. he adds.
Dominguez said CREATE complements other reform efforts launched by the Duterte administration to make the Philippines more business-friendly.
These include the anti-red tape law (ARTA) and the law on the ease of doing business (EODB), plus “Build, Build, Build” and the implementation of an identification system. national, among other measures.
Enacted by President Rodrigo Duterte in August 2018, Republic Law 11055, or the Philippines Identification System Law, aims to establish a single national identity card for all Filipinos and resident aliens.
The national identity card will be a valid identity document which will be a means of simplifying public and private transactions, enrollment in schools and opening bank accounts.
It will also increase efficiency, especially in dealing with government departments where people will only have to present the PhilID during transactions.
Dominguez further said the Philippines would take full advantage of its demographic “sweet spot”, where its young and talented population means a workforce ready to quickly adapt to the transformations underway in the economy around the world.
He said that the remaining period of President Duterte’s tenure will focus on rapidly modernizing governance and accelerating the roll-out of the infrastructure program.
“The modernization of our infrastructure should open up many opportunities for Japanese companies looking in the region to expand their operations,” he added.
Dominguez said the Duterte administration will also continue to press Congress for the passage of economic liberalization bills and the latest tax reform package packages covering property valuation, passive income and financial intermediaries. .
He urged entrepreneurs to maximize the impact of these business-friendly measures by transferring other sustainable practices to the circular economy. (RP)