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Phl urged to address growth bottlenecks

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines has become a more attractive location for investments for British firms amid improving economic conditions here, but the government needs to address bottlenecks to growth such as lack of infrastructure, predictability in business environment and skills gap to get more investors.

London Mayor Alan Yarrow told reporters yesterday the Philippines’ economic gains in the last four years has made it a more attractive place for business and investments.

“You’ve been particularly successful in the last four years. You’ve been the choice of a number of companies to outsource back office, very good level of education, good command of English. Consequently, the world is coming to the Philippines. You can see it in GDP (gross domestic product) numbers and that is important,” he said.

Despite the improvements made, Yarrow said there are bottlenecks which need to be addressed for the country to continue to grow and attract more investments.

Among the bottlenecks to growth is the lack of necessary infrastructure.

In that area, Yarrow said the United Kingdom (UK) could provide assistance to the Philippines in terms of financing and technical assistance.

“We can support the Philippines either through financing, project management or with design of projects or with Public Private Partnerships (PPPs),” he said noting that the country has experience in undertaking PPPs.

Aside from the lack of infrastructure, he said predictability of taxes is another important concern for investors.

 “If you invest money, you want tax rates to be predictable…Getting certainty of tax rates, of tax instance is important,” he said.

Another area of concern is the skills gap as the economy is growing.

“Equally, having said that, there are issues to do with opening up the economy to more international qualifications and professions because as you grow, and you are growing very rapid at the moment, you need to have skill gaps filled. That is looking at things like accountancy, lawyers, all of whom would want to employ Filipino people which is making Filipino people more globally transportable,” he said.

The mayor of London arrived in the country for a two-day visit yesterday to strengthen the UK and Philippines’ partnerships, as well as promote British capabilities in the areas of PPPs and financial and professional services and encourage inward investments to the UK.

During the visit, the London mayor is scheduled to meet with key government officials including the heads of Congress, the Department of Finance, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the PPP Center, as well as top UK and Philippine companies.

He is also visiting the Philippine Stock Exchange and meeting with the trading community.

 

 

BANGKO SENTRAL BOTTLENECKS DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE INVESTMENTS LONDON MAYOR ALAN YARROW PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE PHILIPPINES PILIPINAS PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS UNITED KINGDOM
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