‘Foreign investments needed to boost agriculture’

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Reforms on the government’s foreign investment policies are needed to spur the growth of the agriculture sector, according to Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

“As modernization and industrialization are two of the four major pillars of the ‘OneDA Reform Agenda,’ the Department of Agriculture will continue to craft and implement needed policies to create and raise capital for the agriculture sector, and foreign direct investments (FDI) are vital to this process,” Dar said during the ninth session of the Economic Fora organized by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

“Foreign investments are an integral part of an open and effective global economic system, and a major catalyst for modernization and development,” Dar said.

He said decisive and immediate action is needed in crafting policies to attract foreign investments into the agriculture sector.

“Many of the laws and policies that currently govern FDI into this country’s agriculture no longer serve the sector’s present needs – unsuited as they are to the requisites of economic growth in a time of national crisis,” Dar said.

He suggested that the government has to review and adjust policies to create an environment that would attract the most favorable foreign investments.

Dar also stressed the need to craft a new and more conducive national policy framework to stimulate the flow of resources and improve government support for the provision of fiscal, financial, technical or technological investments.

Apart from this, he cited the need to improve the physical infrastructure and digital connectivity that will make investments in remote and vulnerable areas of the country more viable.

“We must do these imperatives to extend and expand the benefits of foreign investments to local farmers and fishers,” Dar said.

“For the country to have a thriving and competitive manufacturing industry, the agriculture sector must be made more productive, resilient, and competitive,” he said.

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