DTI: Investors warming up to Du30’s tough love
The total value of investment pledges approved by the Board of Investments (BOI) this year may have grown by as much as 15 to 20 percent, backed by sustained investor interest despite the controversial rhetorics of President Duterte.
“We’re still in the process of approving projects, but we estimate that we will end up with a double digit growth by yearend. We’re coming from a high base from the second half last year, so we have tempered expectations. But we still expect full year growth in the value of investment approvals [of] 15 to 20 percent [higher] than last year,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said.
Last year, the BOI approved P366.74 billion worth of investments covering 358 projects.
“The growth in investments would be driven by strong macroeconomic fundamentals, large consumer base, and young demographic. We’re in a sweet spot to attract more investments. Add to that the different business missions and state presidential visits that we have been doing,” he added.
Lopez said these previous visits, which included Singapore, Japan and Cambodia, among others, had helped create more awareness about the country’s stable macroeconomy and promoted the Philippines as a secure and ideal investment destination.
Mr. Duterte himself, Lopez said, had assured foreign businesses of protection for their investments.
“If you talk to investors, they have full confidence and trust in the Philippine economy. We always tell them not to listen to the rhetoric, to understand the context and look at the long term economic fundamentals. We tell them not to get affected by the political noise,” Lopez added.
“Also, we have not changed any policies. The President is not angry with investors and often is the case that when they hear him talk about prospects here, they get convinced. He even told investors, ‘I’ll be your errand boy, I will personally deliver your paper to the proper agency for processing.’ He assures investors that everything is in order.”
The trade chief added that investors continued to flock to the country also because of the administration’s thrust towards ensuring peace and order, stamping out corruption, aggressively ramping up infrastructure spending and more importantly, further easing of restrictions in key sectors in terms of foreign ownership.
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