From L to R: DTI Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Group Ceferino Rodolfo, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual and PEZA Deputy Director-General Vivian Santos

Pasay City, Philippines—In a meeting with the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC) delegation on 22 May 2024, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual showcased the Philippines’ strong economic performance and outlined its comprehensive plans to attract foreign investments. He also expressed the Department’s readiness to assist US firms in addressing their concerns to ensure a competitive business climate.

“Under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., our agenda for economic growth is ambitious and multifaceted, encompassing initiatives aimed at infrastructure development, human capital enhancement, digital transformation, and sustainable practices. We see the United States private sector’s expertise, resources, and innovative spirit as invaluable assets that can significantly contribute to advancing these objectives,” said Secretary Pascual.

During the meeting, the DTI chief shared with the delegation the country’s commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment and its strategic pivot towards an investment-driven economy. He emphasized that the current administration’s economic agenda focuses on infrastructure development, human capital enhancement, digital transformation, and sustainable practices.

Moreover, he outlined the Philippines’ key initiatives to enhance the country’s investment appeal, including (1) significant investments being made in roads, harbors, and other critical infrastructure, with opportunities for foreign investors through public-private partnerships; (2) 100% foreign ownership in renewable energy projects; (3) recent reforms in key sectors like airports and telecommunications; (4) free trade agreements to expand market access; and (5) series of legislative and regulatory to create a more open and attractive investment climate.

In photo: DTI officials with US-ABC delegation during their roundtable discussion

Boasting the government’s flagship “Make It Happen in the Philippines” campaign, the DTI secretary cited major investments from companies like SpaceX, Dyson, Daesang Corporation, and Nitori. He expressed that these investments demonstrate the Philippines’ robust capabilities and its competitive advantage in the region.

Throughout the meeting, the US companies presented their existing and potential investment plans in the Philippines. Particularly, they signify interest in the areas of digital transformation, sustainable development, supply chain resiliency, and micro, small, and medium enterprise empowerment.

Meanwhile, some US companies also took the opportunity to seek the assistance of the DTI in addressing various concerns. Through a whole-of-government approach, Secretary Pascual assured them that the Department would work with other concerned agencies to find ways to address their challenges. 

In photo: DTI Secretary Fred Pascual with the US-ABC delegation during the 2024 Philippine Business Mission

The meeting with the US-ABC members is part of the annual Philippine Business Mission of the US in the country. During the mission, senior representatives from the Council’s member companies travel to the Philippines to engage with priority stakeholders and reinforce the importance of US-Philippines business relations.

With the 2024 mission theme of “Promoting Economic Expansion Through Collaborative and Sustainable Partnerships,” the Council discussed with government officials to understand key priorities, highlight how the US private sector can support the administration’s agenda, and significantly forge sustainable and transformational partnerships for economic growth. ♦

Date of release: 25 May 2024