Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual has urged Singapore business to invest in areas identified by the government as strategic.
Pascual was with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. during a meeting with prominent Singaporean CEOs and top-tier executives in a roundtable discussion on strategic investment priorities in the Philippines on Wednesday, Sept. 13.
Pascual chairs the Board of Investments (BOI), which administers the list of priority economic areas under the Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) that government has identified as eligible for tax and fiscal incentives.
During the meeting, Pascual also laid out the business-friendly policy reforms and incentives available in the Philippines, encouraging investors to take advantage of the country's endeavors in the digital transformation, infrastructure development, and renewable energy sectors.
“The Philippines always strives to offer a more conducive business environment for foreign investors through responsive policy reforms. We also offer a large domestic market given our large population of 115 million with a growing middle class and a young, dynamic, and skilled workforce,” Pascual said.
Pascual emphasized the Philippines' bold plans for the renewable energy industry, which include a 35 percent stake by 2030 and a 50 percent share by 2040.
He proudly shared the recent achievements in this sector, including the approval of 126 new renewable energy contracts with a combined potential capacity of 31,000 megawatts.
Moreover, he talked about amendments enacted in Republic Act No. 9513, also known as the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, which loosened restrictions on foreign equity for projects involving renewable energy, particularly those using solar, wind, and ocean energy.
Pascual also emphasized the vibrant startup ecosystem in the Philippines, which is supported by a youthful and skilled labor force.
He noted that the Philippines' abundant mineral resources offered Singaporean businesses the chance to set up processing hubs for the green metals that are crucial for the production of electric vehicles, renewable energy systems, and battery technologies.
Pascual concluded the talk by assuring the Singaporean companies of the Philippine government's unwavering assistance in streamlining commercial operations in the country.
“Under the leadership of our President, we assure the Singaporean firms of a whole-of-government approach in supporting business operations in the Philippines. The DTI will be steadfast in working with you to ensure the promotion of an enabling and more conducive business environment for foreign investments,” he stated.
The CEO roundtable provided a venue for 23 CEOs and business executives from the fields of energy, banking, venture capital, shipping and transportation, ICT, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, real estate, and telecommunications to interact with the Philippine President and the Trade and Industry Secretariat.
It was organized by the DTI-Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) Singapore and the Milken Institute on the sidelines of the prestigious Milken Institute Asia Summit. (Ma. Joselie C. Garcia)