Balisacan: PH ‘more open to business now’

The Philippines is “more open for business now,” Social and Economic Planning Minister Arsenio Palizcan said Monday, urging European businessmen to consider the country as an investment destination.

“With all our transformative reforms and initiatives underway, the Philippines is poised to regain its preeminence in Southeast Asia and beyond,” he said at the first leg of the 2023 Philippine Economic Briefing in Frankfurt, Germany.

“We are more open for business now than ever before with investors having a wide range of industries to choose from: energy, water, logistics, transportation, agribusiness, manufacturing, tourism, health, education, and digital connectivity,” Balizkan added.

He continued that the government’s current goal, more than two years into the pandemic, is to revitalize job creation and accelerate poverty reduction.

“Most importantly, the focus is no less than influencing the economic transformation towards a prosperous, inclusive and resilient Filipino society.”

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He said the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, the development blueprint of the Marcos government, outlined policy strategies, actionable reform initiatives and legislative priorities to achieve desired social and economic goals.

Balizcan stressed that the target growth “must be inclusive growth – that is, growth that creates more, better, green and resilient jobs to reduce unemployment and allow our people to earn a decent income.”

With a rapidly growing economy of more than 110 million people, the Philippines can serve as a competitive “launching pad” for companies looking to the broader Southeast Asian region.

“The Philippines is in the midst of reaping the ‘demographic dividend,’ where a young and growing working population can drive economic growth over the next two to three decades,” Balizakan said.

Foreign direct investments were said to have generated a net inflow of $10.52 billion in 2021, up 54.2 percent year-on-year, after declining by 71.26 percent in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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