MANILA – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual has highlighted the recent developments in the Philippines that make the country a strategic investment destination for French companies.
In a statement Thursday, the DTI said Pascual and other trade officials had a roundtable meeting with the Movement of the Enterprises of France (MEDEF) in Paris on June 20 as part of the delegation’s three-week European Investment Roadshow.
Thirteen French companies were met by the trade chief.
The delegation led by Pascual was in France from June 18 to 21, where the 10th Philippines-France Joint Economic Commission (JEC) Meeting took place.
The officials also attended the Paris Air Show and met with representatives of several French companies.
“In recent years, we have implemented game-changing policy reforms that have liberalized the regulatory environment while incentivizing investments in our country,” the trade chief told MEDEF members.
Among the reforms that Pascual cited are the harmonization incentives under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law, as well as the amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA) Foreign Investments Act (FIA), and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA).
The country also welcomes full foreign ownership for renewable energy projects.
“These significant policy shifts complement the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Act. Our aim is to attract global players who can modernize our industrial and service sectors and can diversify and expand our exports,” Pascual added.
He said the government has made significant strides in creating a business-friendly environment with such programs as the roll-out of the Philippine Business Hub that simplifies business transactions through online processes and the issuance of Executive Order 18, which establishes green lanes for strategic investments.
With the Marcos administration’s “Build Better More” infrastructure program, Pascual urged French firms to look into opportunities in building the 194 infrastructure flagship projects of the government that costs PHP9 trillion. A number of these projects will be done through public-private partnerships (PPPs).
Pascual also emphasized that the Philippines offers huge opportunities for French companies in the sectors of manufacturing, research and development, business process outsourcing, and aviation.
“Our flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, recently decided to expand its fleet and route network by purchasing nine Airbus A350-1000 wide-body aircraft. The potential for growth in the aerospace industry in the Philippines is immense, from manufacturing to maintenance-repair-overhaul (MRO) services, education and training, and the supply of sustainable aviation fuel. We envision a direct flight from Manila to Paris in the near future,” he added.
Pascual also presented to French firms the advantages of setting up production hubs in the Philippines as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) entered into force in the country on June 2.
“The ratification of RCEP by the Philippines opens up a new chapter in our trade relationship with France,” he said. “French businesses can tap into the vast Southeast Asian market, while Philippine companies can access the sophisticated European market. By embracing this partnership, we can create a brighter and more prosperous future for both our countries.”
Pascual also offered opportunities for French businesses with the newly launched Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP).
“French and other international companies can establish export-oriented businesses in the Philippines, while Philippine companies can explore opportunities to access foreign markets for their products and services. I invite French companies avail of the investment opportunities in the Philippines and create lasting partnerships. We are ready to Make it Happen for you in the Philippines,” he said. (PNA)