Local development through foreign investment

Through a coordinated effort of agencies and technology solutions, the Department of Trade and Industry is securinga bright future for business in the Philippines

The onset of President Fer-dinand Marcos Jr.’s admin-istration in June 2022 hasbrought renewed hope fora country just beginningto stem the tide of the Pandemic andeager to get back to work.By fosteringcoordination between government agenciesand departments and aligning efforts to a com-mon goal, the nation has begun what is clearlya new wave of change, growth, and econom-ic prosperity that will renew hope in the sec-tors most hit by the Pandemic, and which willguarantee the place of the Philippines as a keyplayer in global commerce, tourism, and trade.Recently ratified by the Senate of the RegionalComprehensive Economic Partnership, a par-amount Free Trade Agreement that includesAsean countries as well as China, Japan, Korea,Australia, and New Zealand, the Philippineshas set off its economic transformation with atremendous success.

A key player in this transformation is the Department of Trade and Industry, which justrolled out a new Development Plan for thePhilippines, a unique opportunity for fosteringgrowth in the country which is already makinggreat strides. According to Secretary AlfredoPascual, the Department is also directing its ef-forts towards the creative industries, securing aplace for Filipino traditional handicraft, but alsogame design and animation, in the modern mar-ket, and is in talks with the EU for expandingits current trade agreement. “Development onlyworks if all sectors grow together”, adds the Sec-retary, “and so as we take care of exports, wemust also take care of food security, for example,and so we are nowpresenting a three-year food-logisticsaction plan to thegovernment”

«If you are looking to invest or set up business, this is the place for you. The Philippines is where it is all happening.»
Alfredo E. Pascual
Secretary of Trade and Industry

The key to coordinating sucha broad range offunctions is main-taining its overallobjective of fostering local growth by welcoming foreign invest-ment, for which the DTI set out its Green Lanesprogram, streamlining licensing and operations for greatly improving ease of doing business inthe country. “The key is our ability to collaboratebetween our government agencies”, explains Pas-cual; “we have incentives for companies tobuild power-generating facilities within theirown premises, for example, and have the fullsupport from the Department of Energy”.

Complementing its larger projects, theDTI also fosters business creation and inter-action through different efforts, such as theIntellectual Property Office, with physicaland digital capability for protecting copy-right and original production, or the PHSkills Framework, which links enterprise andacademia in the development of the techni-cal skills needed for the digital economy. “Weare in the fourth industrial revolution, andwe are ready for it”, explains Pascual, refer-ring to the recent creation of an AI researchcenter design to support MSMEs in tech de-velopment, generating better employmentopportunities and securing sustainable eco-nomic prosperity. “If you are looking to investor set up business”, Pascual concludes, “thisis the place for you. The Philippines is whereit is all happening”.

The Philippines

Special Report 2024 Local development through foreign investment