‘Rising pledges belie fear of trade pullout’
Rising investment pledges and the country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals belie the jitters and uncertainties that foreign investors are said to be facing amid the controversial remarks of President Duterte, according to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Lopez was reacting to reports on Monday that American and European investors were canceling trade missions given the perception of rising uncertainty in the local investment climate.
“I have yet to see that. At this point, we’ve reported high growth rate in investments. In September alone, investment pledges approved by the Board of Investments grew by 200 percent, which is an indication of future investments and confidence. Even reports from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed that the actual foreign direct investments are doubling in growth rate,” he said.
Lopez said the numbers were not showing all those perceptions.
“As we’ve been saying, (investors) see the potential and the opportunities in the Philippines. The fundamentals are there—the investments, the size of the market and improved purchasing power. If you were to invest, you’d look at these things—if it’s a big market, if it’s a growing market or if the economy is growing. We’re growing by 7 percent so I don’t see any reason why there will be uncertainties,” the trade secretary said.
He said some people may just be “spreading negative news and rumors, and are trying to destroy the gains of the government, which has been successful in reducing criminality and putting back peace, order and discipline.”
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