Singapore firms urged to invest, explore partnerships in Philippines

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is encouraging Singaporean firms to explore investment and partnership opportunities in the Philippines particularly in food production, manufacturing, infrastructure development, and healthcare.

The Philippine government presented recent reforms including the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, as well as investment opportunities in the country during a webinar of the Singapore Business Federation and the Philippine embassy in Singapore attended by firms from Singapore and across Southeast Asia.

Trade Assistant Secretary Nicanor Bautista, who heads DTI’s Foreign Trade Service Corp., said CREATE is expected to make the Philippines more attractive to investors.

CREATE reduced the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent from 30 percent, as well as removed the export and nationality bias that previously prevented foreign-owned enterprises from enjoying incentives and selling to the domestic market.

“We see the CREATE law as rationalizing the grant and administration of incentives given to investors.  Where before we had disparate and even confusing pockets of incentive packages offered by different investment promotion agencies, we now have a more or less harmonized, straightforward, easier to understand set of incentives that will help to not only bring down investors’ cost of doing business but also allow them to tap the country’s 108-million market,” he said.

He also said the country has a highly skilled, talented, young workforce, modern infrastructure, improved connectivity, huge middle-income market, and a strong relationship with Singapore’s financial, health, life sciences, telecom, manufacturing and energy sectors.

He said the DTI is promoting food production, food processing, advanced manufacturing, particularly those utilizing Industry 4.0 technologies, infrastructure development including power and telecommunications, data centers or hyperscalers, healthcare, personal protective equipment manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals, particularly vaccine co-manufacturing as areas for investments in the country.


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