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âPhilippines a better choice for FDIâ
China and Vietnam are the only two countries in Asia which outpaced the Philippines’ economic growth of 6.7 percent in 2017, posting expansions of 6.9 and 6.8 percent, respectively.
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‘Philippines a better choice for FDI’

Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - April 10, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is seen as a better choice for foreign direct investments over faster growing economies in Asia like China and Vietnam, an American diplomat said.

China and Vietnam are the only two countries in Asia which outpaced the Philippines’ economic growth of 6.7 percent in 2017, posting expansions of 6.9 and 6.8 percent, respectively.

“But the big difference is this – China and Vietnam have command economies and government. The Philippines is a wide open democracy with institutions, people and politics that function. That’s a big difference in today’s world and you have to commend the Philippines for having that atmosphere,” US-Philippine Society president Ambassador John Maisto told The STAR.

With a free market in place, Maisto said the incentives that the Philippines offers would play a huge part as it seeks to entice more foreign investors.

“All the incentives that the Philippines is offering foreign investors – Build Build Build is one of them, the new tax structure, etc. – these are significant. They will help us to present opportunities,” he said.

“I cannot make predictions on what will happen, but I can tell you that the reality we see is quite positive and our job is to call those facts into the attention of people who are courageous enough to be thinking about foreign investment,” Maisto added.

As president of the private sector initiative organized to broaden and expand interaction and understanding between the US and the Philippines, Maisto said it is his job to present to American investors a balanced picture of the Philippine trade and investment climate.

“At the end of the day, they have to make their decisions. The decisions will have to be made by the individual investors. You have two categories of investors at the moment. The old, the ones who have been here who want to expand. And there is a second category that is brand new and the brand new people are usually conservative and they want to measure, they want to be clear what’s going on,” he said.

According to Maisto, American investors looking at the Philippines are mostly concerned about “what the real business climate and the overall political climate” in the country is.

He said they are also very much concerned about anything having to do with security.

“It’s a combination of things and some are more forward thinking than others. Our job is to paint to picture for them,” Maisto said.

“We tell them number one, if you’re talking about the Luzon and Visayas you have a lot going on there. Mindanao is not Marawi. Mindanao is a huge area and there is a lot of potential there and a lot of opportunity,” he added.

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS
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