By Azer Parrocha
MANILA – Whenever foreign business leaders and investment companies think of growth, they can think of the Philippines.
This was the message underscored by members of the Philippine economic team during the Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) held in Frankfurt, Germany on Monday (Philippine time) as they assured investors that diverse investment opportunities await them in the country.
The PEB serves as the platform for the Philippine government to provide international business and financial communities with updates on the country’s robust economic performance and investment opportunities.
During the briefing, the economic team spelled out the reasons why the Philippines has a “comparative advantage” over other ASEAN countries in terms of its investment environment.
They cited the country’s structural reforms, young workforce, strong private sector support, priority on infrastructure spending, strategic regional coordination and stable political environment.
“This administration has more than a hundred implementation-ready infrastructure projects so if the investors are ready to come in, these are projects that are easy to implement,” said Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman in the discussion on the Marcos administration’s Build, Better, More program.
Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, in his keynote message, invited the German investing community to explore opportunities in the fields of telecommunications, airports, toll roads, agribusiness, renewable energy and shipping.
Also present in the briefing were Bangko Sentral Governor Felipe Medalla and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. earlier welcomed the Philippines’ inclusion in the “VIP Club” or a list of Southeast Asian countries with best-performing economies as tagged by economic leaders at the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF).
Climate and disaster resilience
Meanwhile, Pangandaman also shared that a significant number of government agencies in the Philippines have already mainstreamed climate and disaster resilience in the preparation of budgets for their programs and projects in response to the increasing need for climate and sustainability investment.
The DBM, in partnership with the Climate Change Commission, launched the Climate Change Expenditure Tagging (CCET) which encourages agencies to intensify their efforts to implement climate change mitigation and adaptation programs.
These include building disaster-resilient infrastructure and low carbon transportation and promoting climate-smart agriculture and regulated renewable energy systems, among others.
The DBM has tagged a record-high PHP453.11 billion for climate change adaptation and mitigation in the 2023 national budget, which is 56.4 percent higher than last year’s PHP289.73 billion. (PNA)