By Ben O. de Vera, September 24 2018; Philippine Daily Inquirer


Image Credit to VisitLondon.com

The Duterte administration’s economic team will be in London this week to entice UK businessmen to invest in the Philippines’ energy, infrastructure and tourism sectors.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told reporters last Friday that he and other economic managers would be pitching the Philippines’ growth story, noting the country remained among the fastest-growing economies in the region this year despite hiccups such as the prevailing high inflation environment.

The top-level delegation led by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III will hold a Philippine Economic Briefing on Sept. 25 in London, where they would “showcase investment prospects in the country,” the Department of Finance said in a statement over the weekend.

During the three-day roadshow on Sept. 24-26, the economic team will also attend a business roundtable organized by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-London “to discuss with leaders of British business organizations and other groups the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program of the Duterte administration as well as the role of global trade and opportunities in the Philippines’ industry, manufacturing and services sectors,” the DOF added.

Under “Build, Build, Build,” the government plans to implement 75 projects, with about half targeted to be finished within President Duterte’s term. The government aimed to spend a total of over P8 trillion on hard and modern infrastructure until 2022 to usher in what it described “the golden age of infrastructure.”

Also, “the London-bound delegation will update the British business community during the Philippine Economic Briefing on the progress of the Duterte administration’s economic reform agenda, particularly on its comprehensive tax reform program, as well as the performance of the Philippine economy, which is among the best performers in Asia,” the DOF said.

They “will also brief investors on the reforms in the Philippines’ budget system and monetary and fiscal sectors, along with the latest investment opportunities under the Duterte administration’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ program, including the flagship New Clark City project that is envisioned to be the country’s next big metropolis and agro-industrial hub,” according to the DOF.

Besides Dominguez and Pernia, the delegation would include Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and chief executive Vivencio Dizon.

During the first half, net foreign direct investments from the UK jumped 624 percent year-on-year to $36.37 million, BSP data showed.

The UK was also the eighth biggest source of foreign tourists last year, with 180,000 British nationals visiting the Philippines.