Trade chief to investors: “Partner with PH, build value together”

NEW DELHI – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez encouraged Indian businessmen and delegates from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to ride on the ongoing Philippine (PH) growth story.

During the PH-India Business Forum on 24 January 2018, the country’s trade chief presented Dutertenomics — the socioeconomic policies of President Rodrigo Duterte—to encourage investors to partner with PH, which will help in creating additional value for their businesses and boost income-generation operations.

“The initiatives under Dutertenomics can help support investors by creating an environment where companies can do business swiftly and efficiently,” said Sec. Lopez, stressing that ongoing infrastructure projects strategically link the country’s industries. These, in turn, will further power the growth of an already strong economic base.

“Our ‘Build Build Build’ infrastructure program will facilitate greater trade and investment as it opens up access to new markets, while minimizing trade and logistics cost,” he added.

Under Dutertenomics, the government’s massive ‘Build Build Build’ program aims to develop massive and efficient infrastructure projects to create more opportunities in the countryside by developing more regional growth centers.

The trade chief also highlighted DTI’s Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan, at Konsyumer initiative as well as the inclusive, innovation-led, industrial strategy (i3s) as support for the socioeconomic agenda of President Duterte. The i3s complements the government’s thrust to promote an innovation ecosystem in PH, with different sectors partnering to generate more jobs and improved business opportunities. This sets up the environment for MSMEs to grow, with full assistance in training, product and market development, equipment and financing from government.

With the significant growth of 6.9% in the country’s GDP and 39% growth in the Board of Investments (BOI) approved investments, Sec. Lopez urged investors to take part in the country’s economic growth.

According to the trade chief, investors can fully recoup their investments as their businesses enjoy the benefits of operating in a fully-industrialized and secure business environment. They can also enjoy PH’s stable macroeconomic fundamentals, the educated English-speaking workforce, the demographic sweet spot that presents an enlarging consumer base, and wider market access thru preferential trade agreements.

Sec. Lopez shared that the Philippines’ greatest asset is its people, highlighting the large pool of highly qualified and educated work force that is strongly customer-oriented, highly trainable with fast learning curve, adaptable to universal cultures and with high level of commitment and loyalty.

“The hallmark of Dutertenomics is to attain growth with equity. That is, addressing inequality while reducing poverty across the regions towards improved quality of life for all,” he added.

Sec. Lopez also shared the potential of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as key to opening a huge integrated market base of 3.5 billion with ASEAN, plus its six Dialogue Partners (India, South Korea, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand).

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