The Philippines and Singapore should tap each other’s strengths and explore opportunities for cooperation in developing new digital tools and technologies to take advantage of the growth of start-up companies in the region, the government’s chief economic manager said.
During the virtual Philippines-Singapore Business Conference on Friday, March 26, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III urged the Singaporean business community to “take a much closer look” at the investment opportunities in the country.
Dominguez said that investment opportunities in the Philippines have been enhanced by the country’s strong fundamentals, fiscal stamina, pro-business environment, and effective governance.
Singapore has positioned itself as a center for innovation, research and development, which the Philippines can complement with the intellectual capital of its highly talented, tech-savvy, and young workforce, Dominguez said.
He said this would provide Singapore the opportunity to create an ecosystem for its leading start-ups to establish their presence in the Philippines and could likewise be instrumental in helping Filipino start-up companies to flourish.
Dominguez said he looks forward to more comprehensive dialogues with Singapore and the rest of the Philippines’ ASEAN peers on how they can make their regional partnerships more dynamic to enhance each other’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will not recover alone. The best way forward for the region is to resume integration and cooperation in earnest,” Dominguez said in his keynote speech at the virtual conference.
“We are each other’s best allies in recovery. We create products for each other’s consumers. A surge in demand later this year should translate into an expansion of our manufacturing activities and more robust investment flows,” he added.
The virtual event held via Zoom was organized by Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph del Mar Yap.
Aside from Dominguez, the conference also included Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico, who is president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), as speakers.
Dominguez said the “forward-looking event signals that the Philippines is back in business despite the pandemic.”
“I urge the Singaporean business community to take a much closer look at the investment opportunities in the Philippines,” Dominguez said.
“I hope that our strong fundamentals, fiscal stamina, pro-business environment, and effective governance will continue to make us a promising investment destination for Singaporean investors,” he said.