The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is urging the government to use the country’s newly-earned investment grade to attract long-term investments from abroad, instead of just “hot money” which can leave as fast as they came in.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the PCCI, the umbrella organization of business groupings in the country, said the Philippines could have gotten an investment upgrade even much earlier as its economic and financial fundamentals had always been strong following its experience during the Asian Crisis.
“But the good governance and transparency practices strongly espoused under the Tuwid na Daan policy of the Aquino government made the big difference that has eventually given the country its investment grade rating,” PCCI president Miguel Varela said.
“The investment grade rating should be used as leverage to stimulate more investments into the country and support an inclusive and sustainable economic growth,” Varela said, noting that foreign direct investments or FDIs directly lead to the creation of new jobs.
Along with good governance, Varela said the government should continue to put in place an investor-friendly regime such as the assurance of stable and consistent implementation of policies and regulations, and the re-invigoration of policies to encourage investments in much-needed infrastructure projects.
Varela said these fundamentals should be addressed to keep the momentum going as competition for more FDIs was expected to intensify as countries begin to recover from the global economic slowdown.
The PCCI, for its part, would use its local and international partners to ensure that the economy would benefit from the investment grade rating.
“PCCI has an extensive network of 111 local chambers nationwide. These chambers provide support in terms of advocacy for policy reforms, business services and networking to help shepherd investments in the countryside”, Varela said.
Varela said the PCCI had signed various agreements with about 100 foreign chamber counterparts and strengthened its 36 bilateral business councils to focus on the promotion of trade and invite more investors into the country.
He added that the PCCI was “in the thick” of preparations for the hosting of a high-level delegation from China on April 26.
The delegates include potential investors in energy, mining and construction. The PCCI is also set to host a delegation from Malaysia on May 21. Paolo G. Montecillo