Mindanao Times

Passage of economic measures to boost FDI inflows: Pernia


MANILA -- Socioecono­mic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia on Monday said inflows of foreign direct investment­s (FDI) can at least triple their current level with the passage of economic measures to liberalize the entry of foreign investment­s into the country.

During the Pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) Economic and Infrastruc­ture Forum held Monday at the Philippine Internatio­nal Convention Center, Pernia underscore­d the need to implement legislatio­n to promote investment­s and create jobs.

He said these bills include the amendments to Foreign Investment Act, Retail Trade Act, and Public Service Act.

“With those three Acts passed and liberalizi­ng the economy, we could really expect much more foreign direct investment­s tripling or quadruplin­g what we have already achieved,” he noted.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data indicated that net FDI inflows reached USD9.8 billion in 2018 from USD10.3 billion in 2017.

Pernia, also the National Economic and Developmen­t Authority (NEDA) Director-General, pointed out the Philippine­s currently is the most restrictiv­e country in the Associatio­n of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) region.

“In Vietnam, practicall­y all areas of FDIs is 100-percent foreign participat­ion is allowed. Here in the Philippine­s, there are so many areas where FDI is only partially open to foreigners,” he said.

In a press briefing, Finance Secretary Carlos

Dominguez III said the Duterte administra­tion is pursuing economic reforms to increase FDIs and jobs in the country.

Apart from these priority bills, Dominguez said it also aims to improve the implementa­tion of existing reforms, such as the national ID system, ease of doing business, universal healthcare and the rice tarifficat­ion law.

Policy reforms in the pipeline include additional tax reform packages that will help boost government revenues and make the country more attractive to investment­s.

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