Marcos pitches PH as key player in Indo-Pacific

By Darryl John Esguerra

May 21, 2024, 11:48 am

<p>President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum at Shangri-La The Fort, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig on Tuesday (May 21, 2024) <em>(PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)</em></p>

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum at Shangri-La The Fort, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig on Tuesday (May 21, 2024) (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday touted the economic strengths of the Philippines as he positioned the country to become a key player in the Indo-Pacific region.

Speaking at the 6th Indo-Pacific Business Forum at the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Marcos cited the country’s outstanding economic record and soaring foreign investments which will make the country a major contributor to the Indo-Pacific region’s economic activity.

Marcos said the Philippine economy grew by 5.5% last year, surpassing major economies in Asia. He added that foreign direct investments (FDI) continue to flow in with four consecutive months of expansion.

The President noted that the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) partner countries play a significant role in the country's robust economic growth, contributing substantially to the Philippines' FDI and approved investments.

The forum, according to the President, provides a platform for the country to “showcase our investment opportunities, economic potential, and ongoing development projects, solidifying our leadership role in the Indo-Pacific region.”

“As the Philippines occupies a strategic position in the Indo-Pacific, we are leveraging our strategic geopolitical location, economic engagements, and participation in regional agreements,” Marcos said.

“With this region accounting for over one-third of global economic activity, this presents immense opportunities for our nation,” he added.

Game-changing legislations

In his speech, Marcos also cited “game-changing” reforms that his administration has pushed for to provide investors with a conducive business environment.

The President identified the reforms such as the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) ACT, the Ease of Doing Business Act, and the Green Lanes for Strategic Investments Executive Order. 

He said the CREATE More Act “represents a significant leap forward” as the Philippines expands and refines the incentives introduced under the CREATE Act, making the country even more attractive for investments. 

“Through these reforms, we assure you that the Philippine government is fully committed to supporting and facilitating your business endeavors in our country. We extend our hand in partnership and stand ready to provide any assistance that you may require as you navigate the business landscape in the Philippines,” Marcos said. 

Smart, sustainable transport

Likewise, the Chief Executive emphasized the importance of a sustainable and efficient transport system to the country’s socioeconomic growth.

Marcos said he has directed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Transportation (DOTr), and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to develop and implement transportation projects that meet the needs of Filipinos and businesses, adding that the government is embracing new technologies in making the country’s transport systems smarter and more responsive to changing needs. 

“There is a long way to go still, but we are committed to making the Philippines a leader in smart and sustainable transportation. And we believe that with the right investments and partnerships, we will achieve that goal,” he said.

Infra projects

Marcos also invited foreign investors to participate in his administration’s "Build Better More" infrastructure program, which includes 185 high-impact projects worth PHP9.5 trillion.

"These projects contribute to our goal to be the next logistics hub in Asia," he said.

The Chief Executive said a whole-of-nation approach, particularly private investments, is necessary to achieve this goal. 

"Therefore, we invite foreign investors to participate in this endeavor through public-private partnerships, engineering, procurement, and construction contracts, and for feasibility studies, as well," he said. (PNA)