Aquino tells businessmen: Now’s the time to invest in PH

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President Benigno Aquino III. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Strike while the iron is hot.

President Benigno Aquino III told foreign and local businessmen on Monday that now is an opportune time to invest in the country.

With a large number of Filipinos reaching working age in 2015, and the Philippine economy continuing to grow, reforms will further result in uninterrupted growth, he told around 600 business leaders and investors at the Philippines Investment Forum at the Solaire Resort & Casino in Manila.

“On average, hitting such a ‘sweet spot’ has led to a ten-year period of 7.3 percent yearly growth. So one can only imagine the possibilities for us, considering our workers are renowned for their resilience, creativity, and loyalty,” he said.

Aquino explained that it is vital to match the “demographic sweet spot” with substantial changes in the system such as creating a conducive business environment.

“We must cement the reforms we have made, and make certain that we extend our aim of uninterrupted growth—from years, to decades, and hopefully, even to generation,” he said.

He said among the things the administration is looking into is the amendment of the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) Law. He also boasted of the increase in the budgets of the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

“If you invest in the Philippines, human capital will be the least of your worries,” Aquino told the audience as he assured them of a properly equipped Philippine labor force.

At one point, the President told the investors to speak with Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, subtly mentioning that he was hailed Finance Minister of the Year in 2012.

“Going beyond expectations has become so common in our administration that I sometimes joke that some of my Cabinet members are becoming very erratic: they keep giving me targets, but they almost always end up exceeding them. So I guess they are hedging their promises,” Aquino said in jest.

During the speech, the President boasted of the government’s achievements, including the credit rating upgrades given by Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.

He also claimed that the administration had succeeded in its plan to rehabilitate the manufacturing sector.

“In 2013, the manufacturing sector grew by 10.5 percent, and was one of the main factors in building on our economic momentum,” he said.

Aquino reiterated that despite the disasters that befell the country in 2012, the Philippines posted one of the fastest growth rates in Asia at 7.2 percent.

He devoted a large part of the speech on the reconstruction efforts in areas hit by the various calamities last year, encouraging the investors to take part in the rehabilitation.

Aquino’s appearance at the Philippine Investment Forum came a day after Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told media that while the economy continues to grow, the government still has to address underemployment and poverty.

A week ago, Aquino presided over a full Cabinet meeting that tackled ways to push inclusive growth. It was held after a Social Weather Stations survey showed increasing unemployment in the country.

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  • Batala

    More for the economy!

  • go88

    Is it just an impression or is Abn*y really holding a mickey mouse mask in his hands?

  • Batala

    Many here are part of the crab mentality crowd and willfully ignorant of the good things happening to us.

    Ok you can bring down President Aquino III (or any other politician), BUT DON’T PULL DOWN THE COUNTRY!

    1. Computer parts now made in the Philippines
    2. Hard Drives now made in the Philippines
    3. Shimano now building factory.
    4. 3M aggressive expansion and CHOSE THE PHILIPPINES AS MAJOR HUB.
    5. The best eBike and eVehicle technology will build factory in the Philippines.
    6. Critical power support systems now made in the Philippines.
    7. Top engineering and architectural consultancy house now philippines as headquarters.
    8. United Kingdom government services hub NOW in the Philippines!
    9. More and more homeland investment by our own Filipino-Chinese (proud Filipino) in infrastructure and transportation.
    10. Critical support services for Japanese corporations in the Philippines!
    11. Critical support services for USA corporations (and government) in the Philippines!
    12. Solar power systems now made in the Philippines!
    13. Diaper (baby and adult which is now a critical consumer item) made in the Philippines.
    14. Goya still invested here.
    15. and many more.

    STOP THE IGNORANCE!
    HOPE FOR THE BEST!
    COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!
    PEOPLE MAKE A NATION WORK!

    God bless the Philippines!

    • Paulo Gonzales

      you forgot to add something – Keeping people working makes economies work

      • Batala

        Thank you for your very good suggestion! Added as advised.

  • Kim Jong Il

    Filipinos are communists, they want the gov’t to enforce price controls on electricity, MRT fares, taxi fares, etc. Why would you invest.

    The BIR is communist. It robs the poor, rich and middle class and fills up the pork barrels of people like Abn0y in order to feed and house murderers and thieves in prison and to protect squ@tters through the Lina Law.

    The PNP is communist. They kill tourists in Manila such as the ones from the HK bus hostage crisis. Even if China and Henry Sy invested more than a billion dollars in the City of Dreams in Entertainment City to give thousands of jobs to pinoys, devilish Filipinos will continue to kill them.

    Ninoy Aquino, the father of Abn0y Aquino, is the father of communism in the Philippines since he helped establish the Communist Party of the Philippines as documents and testimony from the CPP indicate.

    You can gamble your money, but don’t expect to win.

    • Guest

      You are the real communist. You don’t know what you are talking about. I pity you for having a small brain and

    • Batala

      GO AWAY CHINA PROPAGANDA WORKER!
      STOP RACISM!
      STOP SOWING HATRED IN THE PHILIPPINES!
      GO BACK TO CHINA!

  • acidicboy

    WHY WOULD ANY RIGHT MINDED INVESTOR WANT TO SET UP SHOP HERE WHEN WE HAVE ONE OF THE HIGHEST ELECTRICITY RATES IN THE WHOLE WORLD?

    AND HE CANNOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT BECAUSE THE POWER GENERATORS HERE (AHEM, LOPEZ, AHEM) ARE HIS REAL BOSSES.

  • japokjackpot

    GOSH… he’s talking but not walk with the talk!

  • oidkcin

    Flip-flops, excuses, broken promises
    GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc (The Philippine Star)
    February 7, 2014

    The Supreme Court embargo on electricity rate hikes should stay “for the consumers’ sake,” Malacañang now says. That wasn’t its stand last Dec., when Meralco announced the steep increases. Back then it deemed price surges “inevitable,” provoking consumerists to go to court.

    Rice self-sufficiency is unimportant, Malacañang now says. That wasn’t what it said in 2010, when it promised self-sufficiency by 2013. Back then it even berated agronomists and former agriculture officials who noted — correctly — that the 2013 timetable was too ambitious.

    Freedom of information is not a priority, Malacañang now snorts. That wasn’t what it said in 2010, in contemplating a Truth Commission to dig up fund anomalies of past administrations. Back then it was invoking the people’s right to know details of government transactions.

    No to the Anti-Political Dynasty Bill, no to constitutional economic reforms, Malacañang now insists. That wasn’t what it said in the State of the Nation, July 2013. Back then it shouted, “There’s no stopping change,” at doubters of its sincerity about “inclusive growth.”

    The Disbursement Acceleration Program is “clean” and “useful,” Malacañang insists of the presidential pork barrel. That’s not what it says about three senators who it accuses of stealing their own “pork.” Yet it gave the same trio P193 million in DAP, unexplained and unaudited.

    “The President trusts him,” Malacañang declares in defense of any appointee linked to anomalies. That wasn’t what it promised in 2010 with the slogan “Kung walang korap, walang mahirap.” Malacañang in effect retains the corrupt; poverty incidence remains at 26 percent, with real numbers of hungry, jobless folk swelling due to plunder and neglect.

    “We won’t listen anymore to criticisms on radio-TV,” Malacañang now sneers. That wasn’t what it assured in June 2010, in promising a responsive, responsible government. Back then it told the people, “Kayo ang boss ko (You are my boss).” (Radio-TV is the foremost mass media.)

    That’s just seven broken promises and policy flip-flops of the P-Noy admin. For sure, readers can list down many more. And the Palace will help by making more and more excuses in days to come.

  • Crysis_III

    Ipasa muna FOI at sa ka Anti-Dynasty tiyak maraming investors niyan. At saka gagawa ang Pinas ng growth center. Sa akin yung Subic gawing parang Singapore yan. naku grabe yang lugar na yan..

    • Paulo Gonzales

      We really need the FOI law to be passed, as it will make a bigger impact on the fight against corruption rather than an Anti-Dynasty law. Since the Anti-Dynasty Law would only affect relatives of politicians who can then make use of a Puppet mayor, congressman, senator and so on. While an FOI will have an impact on all Government Personnel, elected or not elected

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