From L to R: United States Trade and Development Agency Director Enoh Ebong, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Assistant Secretary Daniel Kritenbrink

TAGUIG CITY, PHILIPPINES — The Philippines stands as an ideal destination for investment, offering a wealth of economic opportunities across diverse industries, according to Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual.

During the plenary discussion held on the sidelines of the 6th Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) on May 21, Secretary Pascual backed President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s call on partner countries to pursue economic projects in the Philippines.

“The Philippines is strategically positioned in the region, with its vibrant economy offering diverse opportunities across various industries. We welcome mutually beneficial economic ties with our Indo-Pacific partners that can boost our participation in global value chains, attract more foreign direct investment, and sustain our economic growth trajectory,” said Secretary Pascual.

The Philippines offers a strategic location to tap into Southeast Asia’s emerging economies with a market of over 600 million consumers. Ranked among the fastest-growing economies in Asia, the country also boasts a 5.5% gross domestic product increase and a steady rise in foreign direct investments for four consecutive months in 2023.

Capitalizing on this strong economic position, the Philippines is strategically shifting its robust information technology-business process management sector, from business process outsourcing to a higher value knowledge process outsourcing.

Likewise, the national government is building a dynamic and resilient supply chain through developing priority industries such as electronics, semiconductors, and critical minerals. Furthermore, the Philippines is leveraging digital initiatives to transform micro, small, and medium enterprises into sustainable businesses.

To support various industries, the country targets to become a regional hub for smart and sustainable manufacturing and services. A key initiative in upgrading infrastructure is the plan to establish the Luzon Economic Corridor, which will connect Subic, Clark, and CALABARZON to create a center for export-oriented businesses.

Meanwhile, the government is also committed to create a business-friendly environment through attractive policy reforms like the CREATE Act and the upcoming CREATE More Act, which streamline administrative procedures and enhance incentives for businesses. This focus on domestic ease of doing business complements efforts to expand market access.

Aside from policy reforms, the Philippines has forged strategic partnerships through Free Trade Agreements and the Generalized System of Preference, which grant preferential market access for domestic products and expand export opportunities.

“The Philippine government goes beyond offering investment opportunities—it provides a supportive partnership. We will be with you throughout your journey. From initial setup to ongoing operations, potential Indo-Pacific partners will receive on-the-ground assistance and access to valuable government resources and networks,” said the DTI chief as he reaffirmed the administration’s support to foreign investors.

Co-hosted by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the Government of the Philippines, and the US Department of State, the 6th IPBF served as a platform to showcase investment opportunities, economic potential, and ongoing development projects that strengthen the Philippines’ leadership in the Indo-Pacific.

The IPBF is a premier public-private event promoting trade, investment, and economic cooperation between the United States and its Indo-Pacific partners. It offers a platform for government, industry, and international partners to explore business opportunities in Indo-Pacific economies and discover infrastructure solutions for regional development. ♦

Date of release: 22 May 2024