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US business groups urged: Invest in Asia's next powerhouse

April 25, 2019 - Thursday 4:04 AM by Lovely Carillo

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The Philippines is poised to become the next economic powerhouse in Asia and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III lost no time in encouraging members of the American business community to start investing in the country now.

“Now is the best time to invest more in the Philippines so you could maximize the benefits of participating in a robust economy poised to become Asia’s next economic powerhouse,” Dominguez said in a statement released by the Department of Finance (DOF).

Dominguez, who spoke before members of the United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC) early this month, said the country’s prospects for faster economic growth in the coming years should be an avenue for stronger collaboration with the US, especially with the private sector. 

“We would like to encourage US businesses to be more engaged in the Philippine market not only in the infrastructure program but also in investments that would come as a result of our infrastructure development,” he said.

Among the sectors that provide investment opportunities for American companies are energy, infrastructure, information and communications, technology, health, and education.

Dominguez said the rapid economic expansion in the country has placed the Philippines in a promising position to become Asia’s "next powerhouse”.

He said the implementation by the government of tough reforms and record investments in infrastructure and human capital development is expected to sustain this growth. 

“The Duterte administration is currently undertaking efforts to address government inefficiency, the infrastructure gap, official corruption, and the high cost of doing business,” he added.

Among these reforms are the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Act, and the administration’s push for the swift congressional approval of the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and Higher Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) Bill. The TRABAHO Bill aims to lower the corporate income tax (CIT) rate and rationalize fiscal incentives to make them performance-based, time-bound, targeted and fully transparent.

“You are looking at a Philippines that is invigorated and moving forward very quickly,” he said.