President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday asked international business groups to come to the Philippines and vowed to further open the economy to investors during an economic briefing in New York.
The President also sought to partner with investors from the United States and ASEAN as the Philippines engaged in dialogue with members of the US Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Council and “opened the doors to its economy” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to open”. the US Chamber of Commerce.
Speaking at The Carlyle Hotel in New York, Mr. Marcos said his government “will open the doors even wider to quality investment from both the domestic and international business community, with a clear focus on broad-based job creation and… the expansion of digitization infrastructure, research and development.”
“Our mid-term forecast economic output is expected to outperform our regional neighbors… We invite US strategic investors to participate in the economic revival of the Philippines,” he said.
“We believe that the Philippines is the wise investment choice and that now is the best time to do business with us,” added the President.
His government’s eight-point socio-economic agenda aims to reduce poverty rates and lift the country to upper-middle-income status, the president added.
“We are implementing the country’s first-ever medium-term fiscal framework. This is a fiscal consolidation strategy that ensures the fiscal stability of our macroeconomic fundamentals,” he told the combined group of Filipino and international business leaders.
At the earlier meeting with the US-ASEAN group, Mr. Marcos expressed optimism that the Philippines would be able to close deals with more American investors and business firms.
“We really need to leverage every asset, skill and opportunity that we have so we can maximize our ability to grow and stimulate the economy. Let’s find new ways,” said Marcos.
“Let’s find new ways of partnership. Let’s find new ways to evolve. Let’s find new ways to strengthen this relationship between the United States, ASEAN and the Philippines. And in that way, the synergies we find in such a relationship will benefit us all,” he added.
Mr. Marcos reiterated his administration’s priority on agriculture and investment in travel infrastructure, and invited “strategic investors” from the US to “participate in the economic resurgence of the Philippines.”
The President noted that the US and the Philippines have had “long, strong and enduring ties” in trade, commerce, development and “every other aspect of a relationship between two sovereign nations.”
“Today, the US is our third-largest trading partner and fourth-largest source of foreign direct investment,” he said, adding that the Philippines’ projected economic output in the medium term “is expected to outperform our regional neighbors.”
“We will continue our heavy investment in public infrastructure using our public-private partnership mechanisms. We will improve the interconnectivity of our transport networks by accelerating the development and improvement of our railways, airports, seaports and road infrastructure,” added the President.
This was Mr. Marcos’ second Philippine business briefing, following the one in Singapore during his state visit there last month.
“We believe that the Philippines is the wise investment choice and now is the best time to do business with us,” he added.
According to a statement by state-run Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) in a Facebook post, Marcos also discussed his government’s bilateral economic and investment agenda.
For over three decades, the US-ASEAN Business Council has served as the premier advocacy group for US companies doing business within ASEAN.
The council also provides a platform for the US private sector to promote mutually beneficial trade and investment ties between the US and Southeast Asia, the leading investment destination for US companies in the Indo-Pacific.
Mr Marcos also shared on his official Facebook page that on the fourth day of his working visit to the US, he had a “revealing” meeting with executives at American global food giant Cargill.
The President said he and Cargill executives discussed a potential agriculture collaboration.
“We discussed how to achieve food security and self-sufficiency and looked at ways to increase agricultural productivity in the Philippines,” he said.
Mr. Marcos’ meeting with top Cargill officials followed his attendance at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly
In his speech to UN member states, the President emphasized the importance of the agricultural sector and food security for the development of the Philippines.
Cargill has been in business for over 155 years, providing agricultural products, agricultural services and risk management solutions worldwide.
To date, it has approximately 155,000 employees serving customers and communities in over 70 countries or regions in a safe, responsible and sustainable manner.
In addition to Cargill, Mr. Marcos also held a number of meetings with other representatives of American companies during his working visit to the United States.
“PEB New York will primarily focus on economic and industry updates, led by Minister Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Treasury (DOF) and Secretary Alfredo Pascual of the Department of Commerce and Industry (DTI),” according to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in a press release.
Business executives are expected to elaborate on Marcos’ statement during his speech at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly that he expects the Philippines to be a “moderately prosperous” country by 2040.
Diokno, Pascual, Budget Minister Amenah Pangandaman, Socio-Economic Planning Minister Arsenio Balisacan, Bangkok Sentral Governor Felipe Medalla and Ayala Corporation Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala will lead discussions during the PEB.
“The discussion will revolve around economic development and prospects, budget management, budget priorities and the business climate in the country,” the DBM said.
Meanwhile, President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, who also chairs the Private Sector Advisory Board, will also join the panel to share his insights on investment opportunities.
The second panel deals with Philippine trade and industry, tourism, transport, energy and information and communication technology.
According to DBM, the government-private sector collaboration demonstrated in the PEB is expected to result in lasting links with key stakeholders that will drive investment inflows into the country.
Organized by DOF and BSP, the PEB is a way to connect with over a hundred decision-makers to discuss the status and prospects of the economy.