MAKATI CITY–On 27 September 2023, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual underscored the country’s competitive advantages that make it an ideal investment destination during the HSBC Philippines’ 2023 Flagship Event held at Makati Shangri-La Manila. The DTI Chief emphasized the government’s efforts to champion economic policies and reforms encouraging investors to Make It Happen in the Philippines.  

Secretary Pascual said, “The Philippines stands at the nexus of opportunity and innovation in Southeast Asia. Our defining strengths — a dynamic young workforce, an expanding domestic market, and economically competitive labor — set the stage for unprecedented growth. Moreover, our rich endowment of renewable energy sources and mineral reserves positions us as a linchpin in transitioning to sustainable technologies.”  

The trade and industry chief presented the initiatives undertaken by the Marcos Jr. administration to create a conducive business environment for investments. He also highlighted the remarkable economic performance of the country with an impressive 7.6% GDP growth rate in 2022.  

Further, Secretary Pascual encouraged businesses to continue investing in strategic priority areas of the government as it works on achieving robust economic growth and expansion, as well as providing high-quality and better-paying jobs for Filipinos. 

He also shared legislative bills in the pipeline including the (1) Internet Transactions Act, (2) Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone Authority (LEIZA), (3) Intellectual Property Code Amendments, (4) Bamboo Industry Development, (5) Salt Industry Development, and (6) Omnibus Code for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, which are expected to further assist the country’s economic and sustainable transformation.  

Through the Make It Happen Campaign, the DTI Chief reported investments of industry giants that marked the success of the government’s investment promotional efforts. These include SpaceX of the United States, poised to revolutionize satellite internet infrastructure; Dyson of Singapore, focusing on cutting-edge R&D; Daesang Corporation of South Korea, expanding agro-processing capacities; and retail titan Nitori of Japan, expanding our vibrant domestic market. 

The trade and industry chief also stressed the government’s commitment to addressing industry concerns to ensure a strong public and private partnership. He cited swiftly adopted policies, such as the clarified guidelines for VAT zero-rating on purchases of existing registered logistic services inside economic zones, promoting a more favorable tax environment.  

Further, Secretary Pascual underscored the government’s pursuit of strategic partnerships through Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Generalized System of Preference (GSP) allowing the country’s preferential market access.

The HSBC Philippines’ 2023 Flagship Event provided an avenue for thought leadership, exchanging insights and ideas on the growing economic opportunities in the Philippines amid challenges posed by the current economic environment. With the theme of “On Fertile Ground – Offering A World of Opportunity in the Philippines,” the event gathered the country’s top government officials and business leaders to discuss the country’s economic potential that needs to be showcased on the global scene.  

Highlighting the government’s vision of a future filled with investments, Secretary Pascual stressed, “Nestled in the vibrant heart of Southeast Asia, blessed with a dynamic and youthful workforce, endowed with abundant natural treasures, and favored with a large domestic market – the Philippines is at the turning point of a transformative journey. As we champion economic inclusivity and propel ourselves forward, we are inviting investments and molding the Philippines into the prime investment destination. Let us come together, dream bigger, and lay the foundations for a future as promising as our potential suggests.” ♦

Date of release: 28 September 2023