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Foreign investors, “Think growth, think PH,” says the Philippine economic team

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When foreign corporate executives and investment firms consider growth, they should consider the Philippines.

This was the message emphasized by members of the Philippine economic team during the Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) conducted on Monday (Philippine time) in Frankfurt, Germany, as they reassured investors that the country offers a variety of investment prospects.

The PEB acts as the venue through which the Philippine government updates the global business and financial community on the strong economic performance and investment possibilities of the nation.

The economic team explained why the Philippines has a “comparative edge” over other ASEAN nations in terms of its investment climate during the briefing.

They cited the nation’s structural changes, young workforce, strong support from the corporate sector, emphasis on spending on infrastructure, strategic regional coordination, and stable political environment.

Amenah Pangandaman, secretary of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), said during a discussion on the Marcos administration’s Build, Better, More program that “this administration has more than a hundred infrastructure projects that are implementation-ready, so if the investors are ready to come in, these are projects that are easy to implement.”

In his keynote address, Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno asked German investors to look into prospects in the fields of telecommunications, airports, toll roads, agribusiness, renewable energy, and shipping.

Felipe Medalla, the governor of Bangko Sentral, and Arsenio Balisacan, the secretary of socioeconomic planning, were also present for the briefing.

The Philippines’ inclusion in the “VIP Club,” a ranking of Southeast Asian nations with the finest performing economies, as suggested by business executives at the 2023 World Economic Forum, was earlier hailed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. (WEF).

Disaster resistance and climate change

Pangandaman also mentioned that, in response to the growing need for climate and sustainability investment, a substantial number of Philippine government organizations have already mainstreamed climate and disaster resilience in the creation of budgets for their programs and projects.

The DBM introduced the Climate Change Expenditure Tagging (CCET) in collaboration with the Climate Change Commission, which incentivizes organizations to step up their efforts to adopt climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

These include, among others, constructing infrastructure that is disaster-resistant, supporting low-carbon transportation, promoting climate-smart agriculture, and regulating the use of renewable energy sources.

A record PHP453.11 billion, or 56.4 percent more than the PHP289.73 billion allocated for climate change adaptation and mitigation in the national budget for 2023, has been designated by the DBM.

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