The economic team of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday held its first international briefing in Singapore during a two-day state visit.
In his keynote speech, Marcos described the Philippines as “Asia’s fastest rising star,” as he invited foreign investors to take part in the country’s “economic resurgence.”
“In the next few years, our economy is expected to outperform our regional peers,” Marcos said at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore.
“My administration is committed to establishing an even more competitive business climate, conducive to high-value investments. More investments translate to higher economic activity, more jobs, and a better life for all Filipinos,” he added.
The President said his eight-point socio-economic agenda would “upgrade the country to upper-middle income status.”
“We will exercise fiscal prudence in the fulfillment of that agenda. To this end, we are pursuing the country’s first-ever medium-term fiscal framework which will widen our fiscal space to allow for continued investments in public infrastructure and human capital development,” he said.
Speaking to the Singapore business community, Marcos presented his plans for the country in the next six years.
“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.
Marcos aims to expand the country’s investments in public infrastructure through “leveraging our public-private partnerships mechanisms.”
He will focus on agriculture as a “strong driver for growth.”
“An efficient and modern agriculture sector will ensure food security for all and reduce poverty incidence. We will also reinvigorate the tourism sector through massive investments in travel infrastructure and the promotion of the Filipino brand around the world,” he said.
“With the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act and the economic liberalization measures, we have expanded the space for foreign investments in and joint venture opportunities for industry players employing cutting-edge technologies,” he added.
Following his speech, Marcos’s economic team briefed the international business and finance communities on the country’s robust economic performance and investment opportunities.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno delivered the keynote for the first panel discussion on Economic Performance and Outlook, underscoring that this is the best time to invest in the Philippines: “Our economic prospects are bright and promising.”
“The country’s solid macroeconomic fundamentals reinforced by structural reforms enabled us to withstand the headwinds of the pandemic and mount a strong recovery,” he said.
He stressed how the Philippines’ growth outlook is supported by the full reopening of the economy and key structural reforms including the CREATE, the Amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, Amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, and Amendments to the Public Service Act.
The CREATE Act dubbed as the “largest fiscal stimulus program for enterprises in the country’s history” is aimed to provide “hefty corporate income tax rate cuts” and “more flexibility in the grant of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives.”
Diokno said the economic team’s Medium-Term Fiscal Framework which will serve as the blueprint to reduce fiscal deficit, promote fiscal sustainability, and enable robust economic growth.
BSP Governor Felipe Medalla, National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, Department of Budget and Management Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, and SM Investments Corp. Vice Chair Teresita Sy-Coson joined Diokno in the panel discussion.
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