TAGUIG CITY—During the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Philippines Conference on 29 March 2023, Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual shared that the Philippine government is currently focusing on improving the country’s digital and physical connectivity by building more and better infrastructure. These infrastructures are expected to attract more foreign investments that will pave the way for the achievement of inclusive economic growth. 

Secretary Pascual said that “We are connecting our ecozones, trade centers, and manufacturing and logistics hubs. This should serve the needs of businesses locating in the Philippines. By connecting urban centers and rural areas, we enable more balanced growth among regions. Building infrastructure enables us to address transport and logistics constraints, energy supply shortages and costs, and connectivity issues that stifle economic activities.” 

The Conference delved into the topic of physical and digital infrastructure, showcasing innovative projects locally and regionally, market trends and investment opportunities, and how to factor in sustainable and inclusive practices for growth and development. Further, it gathered industry experts, thought leaders, public sector stakeholders, and innovators who shared their perspectives and suggestions on practical solutions to overcome physical and digital connectivity barriers. 

Developing a robust infrastructure will help generate business opportunities and stimulate economic activities in various areas of the country that will also provide employment opportunities for Filipinos. 

“Improved physical infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and public transportation, expands accessibility, drawing investors to previously underserved regions and driving inclusive growth,” the Secretary added. 

Given the fast-changing digital world, high quality digital infrastructure are also key in ensuring a faster, more seamless transfer of information, especially data needed to establish more businesses and facilitate the issuance of licensing and permits. Likewise, through cutting-edge technologies, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which are also being supported by DTI through its digitalization initiatives will be able to reach wider markets and earn more profits. More so, investing in advanced digital technology and physical infrastructure will greatly contribute to the delivery of efficient government services, especially in remote areas. 

The Secretary also shared that “Asia’s impressive economic growth in the early 2000s was fueled by infrastructure development. To maintain this momentum, developing countries in Asia must invest USD26 trillion in infrastructure from 2016 to 2030, as reported by the Asian Development Bank.” 

The Philippine government remains steadfast in its goal of improving the country’s infrastructure, allocating 5% of the country’s GDP to infrastructure development, which focuses on transportation and connectivity projects. Recently, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) board has approved worth PHP9 trillion flagship projects that will enhance physical and digital connectivity, including water resources, health, power, and agriculture. 

“Indeed, the development of physical and digital infrastructure offers boundless opportunities for industry growth, increased productivity, and attracting investments to the Philippines. As a united government, we will continue to work tirelessly toward promoting businesses and industries in line with our economic agenda. We pledge to enhance our infrastructure, reaching every town, city, province and region, ensuring that no one is left behind. 

Date of release: 30 March 2023