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Speaker: Summit opportune venue for PH investment

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Speaker Martin Romualdez (second from right) flanks President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (seated) as he stands beside (from left) Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo, and Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil at the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta on Tuesday. PCO Photo

Speaker Martin Romualdez on Tuesday said the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia presents an opportune venue for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to boost trade and investment between the Philippines and ASEAN member countries.

“The ASEAN summit provides an excellent venue for President Marcos to showcase the distinct advantages the Philippines has as a trade and investment hub so as to create more jobs and business opportunities for the Filipino people,” Romualdez said.

Among others, Romualdez cited legislative reforms such as the amendment to the Public Service Act, Foreign Investment Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act aimed at further opening up the Philippines to the entry of foreign investments as well as incentives for investors under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE).

Romualdez said with a projected growth rate of 4.9 percent in 2024, the region continues to see increased intra-ASEAN trade and an influx of foreign direct investments.

“The steady recovery of the region from the pandemic and its improving macro-economic fundamentals amid geo-political headwinds makes ASEAN a favored destination of foreign investments and the Philippines can capitalize on this trend for the benefit of our people,” he said.

In addition to the 43rd ASEAN Summit, Romualdez said the Jakarta gathering of regional leaders would also include related summits of ASEAN with dialogue partners such as the United States, China, Canada, Japan, and South Korea, as well as with the United Nations.

President Marcos is expected to have bilateral meetings with other state leaders attending the ASEAN Summit, as well as separate engagements with Indonesian business leaders.

“These engagements are important venues for the President to also promote our national interest,” Romualdez said.

In his pre-departure statement, President Marcos said in his participation in the ASEAN Summit that he would highlight the need to promote a rules-based international order, including in the South China Sea.

Likewise, the President said he would call attention to other advocacies of the Philippines such as strengthening food security, calling for climate justice, tapping the potential of the digital and creative economies, protecting migrant workers in crisis situations and combatting the crime of trafficking in person


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