Economic team courts US investors

Published September 23, 2022, 11:22 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

President Marcos’ economic managers were pursuing more foreign investments from the US, trumpeting the country’s sound macroeconomic fundamentals, the government’s clear roadmap for economic recovery, and sustainable growth.

At the first Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) in North America late Thursday, Sept. 22 (Manila time), the economic team, led by Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, presented the key structural and budget reforms supporting the resurgence of the Philippine economy.

“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,” Diokno said.

“This is why we believe that this is the best time to do business in the Philippines,” the finance chief told the high-level event attended by 140 bank and financial institution analysts, investors, business groups and chambers, as well as credit rating agencies.

At the investors briefing, Diokno emphasized the government’s will to push the Philippines towards broad-based and sustainable growth over the next six years, underpinned by the enactment of key structural reforms, as well as the full reopening of the economy.

He also unveiled the first-of-its-kind Medium-Term Fiscal Framework, which contains various measures that will promote fair and efficient tax administration in the country through digitalization as well as mainstream environmental sustainability initiatives.

Diokno also expects the public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement to unlock more employment opportunities for the Filipino people and reduce poverty incidence in the long run.

In the meantime, he said that the Marcos administration remains vigilant and ready to respond to global economic headwinds and pressing issues brought about by the pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine Conflict.

During the panel discussion, Diokno reassured that there will be enough fiscal space to sustain investments in infrastructure, thanks to the tax reforms implemented by the previous administration.

The PPP mechanism is also seen to bolster the country’s economic resurgence by providing additional capital to power the government’s ambitious infrastructure program.

Meanwhile, Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman shared the priority budget reforms of the Marcos administration including digital infrastructure and digitalization of the public financial management system.

“We have an existing Executive Order No. 170 that will encourage all government payments and disbursements to be in digital format. As of now, we’re already preparing the implementing rules and regulations,” Pangandaman said.

Some of the major digitalization expenditures in the proposed 2023 national budget are the National Government Data Center Infrastructure and National Broadband Plan, among others.

“We have provided a conducive regulatory environment and we will continue to do so. We are open for business so let us all grow together,” the Budget Chief concluded.

The PEB New York—the second international briefing of the Economic Team—was conducted in cooperation with Bank of America Securities, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, SMBC Nikko, Standard Chartered Bank, and UBS.