The Joint Foreign Chambers on Wednesday agreed to help the Philippine government raise foreign direct investments to more than $10 billion a year.
European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines president Lars Wittig said members of the JFC were willing to join hands with the public and private sectors to increase inbound investments.
“We will assist the government to encourage new inbound investment based on the new CREATE and Retail Trade bills. This task will be more successful the PSA [Public Service Act] amendments reform bill is enacted and the cost for exporting firms are reduced,” he said during Day 1 of the Arangkada Philippines Forum 2021.
“As you will hear it said repeatedly, this country has amazing potential, amazing people, amazing possibilities, but for a long time, it has fallen short of realizing them. But we must never stop competing and create the path to higher middle income status,” he said.
He said that recovering the lost gross domestic product would begin “to heal the many major scars, closed businesses, unemployed, increased poverty-less educated students, reduced investment, national debt and more—by the Philippines, which is not the only Asian country in this situation.”
He said that an effective national leadership, at this time of crisis, is paramount to effecting good economic management as continuity of sound policies is also vital for the next set of government leaders.
“We think there must be a better normal to attract substantial foreign investment and trade to really boost the economy,” Wittig said.
He highlighted the urgency of enacting the amendments to the Public Service Act which will serve as guide for the incoming administration on how to better manage public governance.
He announced the publication of a summary of formal recommendations that Arangkada plans to release in 2022 with the intention of sharing the same with the new administration.
On its 10th year, the Arangkada Philippine Forum 2021 will touch on relevant issues that build on core advocacies of the JFC and other business groups.
Meanwhile, a survey organized by the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry in September to October 2021 found that German companies continue to have optimistic outlook on the gradual recovery of the Philippine economy.
“The lesser numbers in the daily active cases of COVID-19 and the graduation of major areas to a more liberal alert level presents a promising outlook for our survey respondents,” said GPCCI executive director Christopher Zimmer.
“We also welcome the recently adjusted travel-related quarantine measures for fully-vaccinated individuals. However, we still observe that key foreign nationals of both incoming and existing companies in the Philippines still experience problems coming in as entry measures and requirements remain rigorous, time-consuming, and burdensome,” he said.
The survey echoed the report of the DIHK or Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce where about 3,200 respondents globally are saying that German companies doing business abroad are hit by severe problems in their supply chains or logistics, pushing them to diversify suppliers, shorten delivery routes and also relocate their own production.