The Department of Finance (DoF) is encouraging American firms to invest in the Philippines as the government is starting to revive the country’s economy.
During a virtual economic briefing hosted by the Philippine embassy in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said the government planned to continue finding more ways to revive the economy while strengthening the country’s health care system.
“We see many areas of cooperation between the US and the Philippines on this front,” he added, noting that the government is turning the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic into an opportunity to boost the competitiveness of the country’s manufacturing and agriculture sectors.
The Finance chief said the government was pushing the use of digital technologies to transform Philippine agriculture into a dynamic, high-growth sector.
“With the US being one of the world’s greatest food producers, we see immense potential benefit in having American investments in this area,” he added.
Dominguez also said manufacturing was another key sector that the government would revitalize in the post-pandemic era.
“This is a good time for the US firms that are looking to diversify their supply chains to see the Philippines as a viable source of intermediate products and services,” he added.
According to him, the Philippines has very young workforce and a large pool of highly skilled workers who can assist in the development of the US manufacturing and innovative industries.
“We also see great potential in partnerships with US companies as we accelerate our move to a digital economy,” Dominguez said.
The Cabinet official also said the Covid-19 crisis was also a time for renewed cooperation between the Philippines and the US in the area of medical research.
“As we traverse very difficult circumstances, we intend to maintain fiscal discipline and make our financial sector more inclusive. We are introducing additional reforms that will help us consolidate a pro-business environment,” he added.
“We hope that the Philippines’ strong fundamentals, fiscal stamina, and effective governance will continue to make us a promising investment destination and a growing market for US investors.”
Meanwhile, Citi Philippines Chief Executive Officer Aftab Ahmed said the Philippines was in a demographic sweet spot, which began in 2015, and was projected to run through 2053.
“The country offers a host of growth opportunities for US companies and other [multinational firms], both in the traditional brick-and-mortar industries and activities, such as logistics and health services, [and] in the technology-related sector,” he added.