Oliver Bugarin 2 0 0 4 min to read

Visits by the PBBM to Indonesia and Singapore are expected to increase trade and investment.

Sergio Ortiz-Luis, president of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT), hopes that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s trip to Singapore and Indonesia will improve relations between the Philippines and the two Southeast Asian nations.

Ortiz-Luis expressed his hope at the Laging Handa public briefing on Monday that the trade and investment agreements that will be signed during the Chief Executive’s visit to the two countries will encourage more Singaporean and Indonesian capital to invest in the Philippines and facilitate the entry of more Philippine goods into these two markets.

He claimed that strengthening ties with Singapore and Indonesia is essential for the nation because the latter has the highest gross domestic product per capita in the area, and the former is the largest market in Southeast Asia.

“Well, certainly anything that helps increase saka investments and trade activity will benefit… In reality, in the Asean-5, at iyang dalawang bayan na iyan ang malakas dito sa Asean. Therefore, it is crucial to remember that an agreement can cover any problems with investments or trade if they arise. These two nations are the strongest in Asean and, in fact, among the Asean-5. Therefore, he said that the deal must address any issues that arise with incoming commerce and investment.

To make sure that the agreement tackles the actual difficulties faced by businesses, Ortiz-Luis noted that should the government enter into an agreement with another nation, it is best for the private sector to be briefed on its details.

It frequently occurs that they will sign, but it doesn’t work because it was not consulted, and he added I hope they went through the process. “In the past, madalas nangyayari na pipirma tapos it doesn’t work dahil hindi pala naikonsulta,” he said.

Marcos stated in his pre-departure statement on Sunday that this week’s state visits to Singapore and Indonesia aim to continue exploring ways to strengthen commercial and investment ties between the Philippines and the two Asean nations.

Philippine two-way commerce with Indonesia reached USD6.12 billion from January to June 2022, while bilateral trade with Singapore totaled USD6.74 billion, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

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