President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday wooed the foreign business community to invest in the Philippines, telling them that they could consider the country as a “strategic partner with endless opportunities”.
Speaking before a select group of chief executive officers (CEOs) and top investors at the 10th Asia Summit in Singapore, Marcos said the Philippines has demonstrated “remarkable resilience,” in the face of global economic volatility.
“As we navigate a world marked by uncertainty, the Philippines remains steadfast in its pursuit of economic growth, social progress, and sustainable development. Our nation’s story is one of the resilience of a people who rise above challenges and seize opportunities to build a better tomorrow,” Marcos said.
“Given the strong fundamentals of our economy, I invite you to explore the Philippines as a destination for investment. Moreover, the Philippines’ strategic location within Asia, coupled with our membership in regional trade agreements, positions us as a gateway to countless possibilities,” he added.
Marcos stressed that despite high inflation and local market instability, the country has sustained economic growth, noting that its gross domestic product (GDP) reached 7.6 percent in 2022, “the fastest rate of growth recorded by our country since 1976.”
He also cited the Philippines’ ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is considered the largest free trade agreement covering roughly 30 percent of the world’s population and global GDP and over a quarter of international trade in goods and services, as well as 31 percent of foreign direct investment inflows.
Businesses, Marcos said, could invest in various areas such as renewable energy, manufacturing, and tourism.
Continued economic growth
Marcos said the country’s economic expansion is expected to continue, adding that global institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have projected the Philippines to grow around 6 percent in 2023.
“Our growth story is underpinned by a strong domestic demand and increasing fixed capital investment as a result of upbeat domestic activity and improved business confidence,” he said.
Marcos also emphasized the Philippines is a “large market” comprised of 110 million consumers “whose demand helps fuel our current and future growth.”
“Moreover, the regulatory reforms that we have recently passed, which liberalized many sectors, including public services, retail, and renewable energy, amongst others, are expected to encourage private investment and bolster the growth of our economy over the medium to the long term,” he said.
“So, in conclusion, as we stand here discussing ways we can collaborate, I invite each one of you to consider the Philippines as a strategic partner in your journey. Our story is one of promise or potential of endless opportunities, and all waiting to be harnessed,” Marcos added.
Marcos is the first sitting Philippine president to deliver a speech at the Asia Summit hosted by the Milken Institute.
Carrying the theme “Bridging Complexity and Opportunity,” the 10th Asia Summit “celebrates a decade defined by greater access to capital, deeper digitalization, health innovation and the rise of connected, purposeful living.”
Founded in 1991, the Milken Institute is a non-profit and nonpartisan think tank that focuses on accelerating measurable progress on the path to a meaningful life. (PNA)