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Sec. Diokno : PH one of the fastest growing economies in ASEAN, next investment hub

Left : Ambassador Yap delivering his welcome remarks Right : Mr. Lorens Ziller of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines
Left : Marie Antoniette Mariano of BDO Unibank, Director General Charito Plaza of PEZA, Ambassador Yap Right : Sec Diokno of DBM and Mr. Romolo Nati , Chairman of Italpinas Development Corp

16 April 2018 – Secretary Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management, Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph Del Mar Yap, Director General Charito B. Plaza of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, and SAVP Marie Antoniette Mariano of BDO Unibank Inc. were some of the speakers in the exclusive seminar “Investing and Doing Business in the Philippines” held on 13 April 2018 at UniCredit Bank Singapore.

Investing and Doing Business in the Philippines was organized by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, in partnership with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the European House of Ambrosetti. It aimed to promote business and investment opportunities in the Philippines among Italian and European companies based in Singapore.

“The Philippines is on its way to becoming Asia’s next economic tiger, and various technological innovations that we introduced have improved immensely the ease of doing business in the country”, Secretary Diokno announced during his opening statement.

He mentioned the government’s long-term vision of having an economy that not only grows, but also distributes wealth across all sectors of society, particularly the poor and marginalized.

“The Philippines is one of the fastest growing economy in the
fastest growing region in the world. With our ambitious economic
plans, we assure you that there is no slowing down for us. We will continue this momentum. And as we lay down our lofty goals, we are confident in our country’s capacity to be the next investment hub in Southeast Asia.” he added.

As outlined in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, the government’s economic growth target is to push the PH economy to upper-middle income status by 2022 and achieve annual growth of 7% to 8% in the medium-term. The government also aims to reduce poverty rate from 21.6% in 2015 to 14% by 2022.

The government crafted an economic blueprint by increasing its planned deficit ceiling from 2 to 3 percent in order to provide fiscal space to match spending priorities in infrastructure and human capital development. The implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law will finance development priorities: 70% will go to infrastructure while 30% will go to social services. This competitive tax system will attract more investments.

Secretary Diokno also mentioned three (3) technological innovations : (1)Project DIME (Digital Imaging for Monitoring and Evaluation), (2)Budget and Treasury Management System (BTMS)and (3)the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS). The projects aim to improve public service delivery and ease of doing business in the Philippines.

Meanwhile in his welcome remarks, Ambassador Yap cited high growth, its vibrant young population, and big plans on infrastructure spending as reasons why investors should choose the Philippines.  “The ranking of the Philippines as the best country to invest in, according to the US News and World Report, attests to the growing international confidence in President Duterte’s reform agenda”, he added.

The seminar was held at the sidelines of the 2nd Edition of the High Level Dialogue on ASEAN Italy Economic Relations held last 11-12 April 2018 at the Shangri La Hotel where Secretary Diokno also presented the state of the PH economy during the closing session.