Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III encouraged Japanese companies to pour in more investments in the fast-growing Philippine economy.
Dominguez, in a meeting with a delegation from the Kansai Economic Federation based in Osaka, Japan, said the domestic economy—where higher consumer demand fueled by tax reform and an aggressive infrastructure program, along with improving peace and order—opened wide business opportunities to foreign investors.
Dominguez also assured that the second package of the Duterte administration’s tax reform program, which aims to cut the corporate income tax rate and rationalize investment incentives, was a game changer that would expand, rather than curtail, opportunities for them to do business in the Philippines.
Fiscal incentives under the tax reform program, Dominguez said, would not be removed but instead be rationalized or improved to ensure they were performance-based, targeted, time-bound and transparent.
“Rather than look at the effect of tax reform on some companies, look at the effects of tax reform on the entire economy because it is making it better. Instead of looking at the place where you might lose, look at opportunities in the larger economy,” Dominguez told KANKEIREN members led by chairman, Masayoshi Matsumoto.
Matsumoto, who is also the chairman-CEO of Sumitomo Electronic Industries, said he was “very satisfied with the explanation” of Dominguez about the need to rationalize fiscal incentives in the Philippines.
Also at the meeting were Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda; Masayuki Matsushita, KANKEIREN vice chairman and chairman of its international committee, and vice chairman of Panasonic Corp.; Takamune Okihara, special advisor, KANKEIREN and senior advisor at MUFG Bank Ltd; and Koji Yanagida, vice chairman of the International Committee and executive director of Azusa Sekkei Co. Ltd.
Dominguez said the Philippine economy was growing very quickly. “If you want to participate in the local economy, you have to better invest here... We’d like to make you feel welcome, but what will make you feel welcome is the improving disposable income of our people, improving infrastructure, improving peace and order, and I’m sure many Japanese companies can certainly benefit here.”