MANILA – The Philippines is keen on forging stronger ties with the Singaporean business community, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said Wednesday.
He made this remark as he invited inventors to take part in the Philippines’ “economic resurgence” in a speech during the first-ever international Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore.
“We will change the game by structural reforms that we have set in place to allow for wider participation in our industries,” he said.
Citing the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act or the CREATE law and economic liberalization measures in place, Marcos said the country has expanded the space for foreign investments and joint venture opportunities for industry players.
The CREATE law, which aims to encourage more investors to put their funds into the domestic economy, is the government’s pandemic relief measure for local and foreign firms operating in the country.
Marcos also vowed to maximize the country’s trade and economic cooperation with Singapore to attract investments, create more jobs, and speed up post-pandemic economic growth.
Meanwhile, Marcos expressed confidence that the Philippines’ next six years will be grounded on a favorable investment policy environment, sound macroeconomic fundamentals, and a strong and decisive economic team.
“We are presently on a steady path to a strong recovery from the pandemic and a robust economic expansion. In the next few years, our economy is expected to outperform our regional peers,” he said.
He said his administration is committed to establishing a more competitive business climate, conducive to high-value investments as more investments translate to higher economic activity, more jobs, and a better life for all Filipinos.
Marcos said his administration’s 8-point socio-economic agenda underscores commitment through broad-based job creation, expansion of digital infrastructure, and promotion of research and development across the country.
“This strategy will enable us to reduce poverty sharply and upgrade the country to upper-middle income status. We will exercise fiscal prudence in the fulfillment of that agenda,” he added.
Marcos said his administration will also be pursuing a medium-term fiscal framework that will widen fiscal space and allow continued investments in public infrastructure and human capital development.
“We will expand our high investments in public infrastructure by leveraging our public-private partnerships mechanisms. We will improve interconnectivity through transportation development. We will fast-track the development of our railway systems, modernize our airports and seaports and enhance our road infrastructure,” he said.
Likewise, he said his administration will focus on agriculture as a strong driver for growth.
“An efficient and modern agriculture sector will ensure food security and reduce poverty incidence. We will also invigorate the tourism sector through massive investments and travel infrastructure and the promotion of the Filipino brand around the world,” he added.
The PEB in Singapore was conducted in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy Singapore and the Philippine Trade and Investment Centre Singapore, together with partner banks namely, BoFa Securities, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, SMBC Nikko, Standard Chartered Bank, and UBS.
Marcos is currently in Singapore for a two-day state visit until Thursday. He just concluded his state visit to Indonesia from Sept. 4 to 6.
Singapore is the Philippines’ top investor last year, with Singaporean companies maintaining big-ticket projects in telecommunications, infrastructure, startup and innovation, renewable energy, and healthcare. (PNA)