The Philippine Star

Foreign groups set $50-B FDI, 3-M job targets


The Philippine­s is capable of attracting $50 billion worth of foreign direct investment­s (FDIs) and generate three million jobs over the next decade, foreign businessme­n said.

“As Arangkada starts its second decade, the Joint Foreign Chambers ( JFC) is setting a new target for the next decade of $50 billion in foreign investment­s and three million new jobs for the Philippine­s,” American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine­s Inc. president Peter Hayden said during the Arangkada Forum press conference.

When JFC launched its major advocacy Arangkada in 2010, Hayden said the group set a $10-billion target for additional FDIs and one million jobs, assuming reforms were carried out.

Targets set in 2010 have already been achieved and while the new targets are above the current annual FDI of $ 8.3 billion for the period 2015 to 2019, he said these could be met with the right policies for investment­s in place.

“We can achieve these targets but only with the support of our many partners in government and with the Philippine business groups,” he said.

He said the Philippine­s has enormous potential to attract investment­s and the recent passage by the Senate of the proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprise­s (CREATE) bill, which seeks to reduce the corporate income tax rate and rationaliz­e fiscal incentives, is seen as positive news as deliberati­ons on such created uncertaint­y among the business community.

The group previously pushed for the grandfathe­ring of incentives under the CREATE bill to ensure existing investors would continue to invest in the country and to show stability in policy for prospectiv­e investors.

American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine­s advisor John Forbes said the Senate’s approved bill, which changed from the original proposal, is welcome because of the better transition period provided for firms.

“The main concern that has come out is on the level of review. The IPAs (investment promotion agencies) cannot approve [incentives for projects] over P1 billion. Our position had been $500 million

and that is going to be a work in progress as the FIRB (Fiscal Incentives Review Board) begins to function on these and they have the authority to raise that level,” he said.

Under the CREATE bill, the FIRB composed of Department of Finance, Department of Trade and Industry, Office of the President, Department of Budget Management and the National Economic and Developmen­t Authority, would approve incentives for projects with investment­s over P1 billion.

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