By Mayvelin U. Caraballo, September 27 2018; Manila Times


Image Credit to Sun Star

Economic managers have highlighted the Philippines’ readiness to absorb more investment inflows from the United Kingdom (UK).

In a keynote speech at the Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) in London on Tuesday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said the UK was one of the country’s top 10 largest sources of foreign direct investments at present.

“We look forward to more investment flows in the coming years, especially in the sunrise sectors of our economy,” he said.

Moreover, Dominguez pointed out that the UK had been a reliable partner of the Philippines in the past when the latter faced difficult economic challenges.

“We are confident this partnership will grow even more as our economy emerges to take its place among the dynamic economies in a dynamic region,” he added.

The Finance chief said improvements in the ease of doing business along with other initiatives like the comprehensive tax reform program and an unprecedented infrastructure buildup—dubbed “Build, Build, Build”—had deepened investor confidence in the Philippines, leading to a 42.4 percent surge in net foreign direct investments to $5.8 billion in the first half of 2018.

“This reflects stronger investor confidence in the Duterte administration’s decisiveness in pushing ahead with the economic reform agenda. This also dispels concerns that our tax reform is scaring away investors,” he said.

For his part, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said: “With our sound, prudent and sustainable economic blueprint, we assure that the Philippines will continue to be a bright spot for UK investments.”

Attended by around 250 participants, the briefing carried the theme “Strengthening Economic Resilience and Spurring Infrastructure Development for Inclusive Growth.”

The first roadshow in London under the administration of President Duterte, this leg of the PEB highlighted the Philippines as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and as an attractive investment destination under a reform-minded leadership focused on delivering results.

The PEB was led by Dominguez, along with Diokno, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, Transportation Secretary Tugade, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, and Bases Conversion and Development Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Vivencio Dizon, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

The team attended a series of meetings and roundtable discussions with British firms and companies.