Government moves to assure US firms, other investors

November 8, 2016 at 09:49

Government moves to assure US firms, other investors

By  Rea Cu | NOVEMBER 6, 2016

The Duterte administration will continue to make the Philippines an attractive place for investments by encouraging a competitive environment to level the playing field for business, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said over the weekend.

Dominguez made this assurance to members of the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AmCham) during a meeting last Saturday. He added that the Duterte administration will make certain that the business environment is such that it encourages people to stay on.

“As far as business is concerned, President Duterte wants to have more competition and more innovation,” he said in a statement.

The finance chief added that the Duterte administration is pursuing a policy of “economic diversification,” which will open more markets for Philippine products overseas, encourage more investments in the country and create better-paying jobs for Filipinos.

During the meeting, Dominguez said AmCham representatives expressed their support for the government’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda. Speaking on behalf of AmCham Philippines, Executive Director Ebb Hinchliffe said the organization is “100-percent behind” the government’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda and wants the Duterte administration to be successful in implementing its development programs.

“From AmCham’s standpoint, we want this administration to be successful. Can you imagine what a wonderful place this would be if we could get rid of crime, corruption and drugs? It will be an even better investment environment,” Hinchliffe said.

Dominguez thanked AmCham for supporting the government’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda, and asked the chamber to help craft an action plan that would implement the reform plan’s goal on job creation recognizing AmCham’s role in generating hundreds of thousands of jobs in various industries in the country.

AmCham members, led by Hinchliffe, mentioned Duterte’s statements on Philippine-US relations, but informed Dominguez of their hopes for continued investment in the country.

We encourage competition and we encourage obedience to the law,” Dominguez said  in response.

A day before Dominguez’s meeting with AmCham executives, US Secretary of State John F. Kerry said in Washington, D.C., the historic alliance between the US and the Philippines remains “ironclad”, despite recent differences.

“The US continues to place high value on the close ties that exist between our countries. We continue to recognize our ironclad commitment to the sovereignty, independence and security of the Philippines,” Kerry said during a swearing-in ceremony for the new US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim.

The AmCham members present during the meeting with the finance chief included representatives from the fields of manufacturing, construction, electronics, mining, business-process outsourcing, information technology, power, food processing and agriculture.

Among them were key officials from Capital One, Cargill Philippines, Freeport McMoran, Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Co., Optel, and AES Corp. Elizabeth Magsaysay of the US-Asean Business Council was also present at the meeting.

Before his meeting with AmCham representatives, Dominguez said he had spoken informally with a US state department official, who encouraged the Philippines to have good relationships with its neighbors, including China and Japan.

“You know, we are in discussions with everybody. I think the new policy of the President is to open doors to all,” he added. 


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