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Increased competition seen to boost investment inflows

World Bank: Policy consistency also a key

A HIGHER degree of competition in various sectors, particularly in utilities, is key to jacking up the amount of investments infused by local and foreign investors, according to the World Bank.

In a presentation at the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines Economic Forum yesterday, World Bank Philippines country director Bert Hofman said expanding competition in key sectors was essential to enhancing investment opportunities in the country.

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“Competition will spur better services and higher efficiencies,” he said. “Opening up to competition is key. (One way of) maximizing competition is through the (public-private partnership program).”

The cases of the telecommunications and water distribution sectors in the country were cited as examples.

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When these sectors were not yet open to competition, they were ruled by monopolies: Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. in the telecom sector and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System in the water distribution sector.

The deregulation of these sectors led to the entry of new investors and a vast improvement in services.

Hofman said other key reforms would have to be implemented to reel more investors into the country.

There should be continuous improvements in governance, he said.

Also, in implementing the PPP program, he said the government should exercise transparency, adding that despite delays in the bidding of the projects under the scheme, it remained a “promising” program.

“It is better to do things right than to do things quickly,” he said.

The government should also ensure consistency in policy implementation and reform existing tax policies to ensure “efficient, equitable revenue increases,” he said.

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TAGS: competition, EJAP, Governance, Local and foreign investors, Philippines, World Bank
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