PPP mode draws interest from Swedish businesses

Louisse Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines —  Businesses in Sweden are open to investing in the Philippines via public-private partnerships (PPP) amid improving macroeconomic fundamentals and business climate.

Finance Secretary Ralph Recto recently met with some Swedish investors to discuss areas of cooperation that the two countries can look at.

In particular, Recto met with representatives of North Europe leading financial group Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) and defense and security firm Saab who were  accompanied by Ambassador of Sweden Annika Thunborg.

Recto said the Swedish firms expressed interest in pharmaceuticals, financial solutions, green projects and deeper PPP.

The Europeans are also looking at bolstering the Philippines’ defense industry, drawing upon Sweden’s track record in enhancing defense capabilities in other countries to foster long-term competence and stimulate domestic job creation.

Sweden’s recent membership to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization presents opportunities for Swedish arms manufacturers to contribute to the modernization of the Philippines’ defense capabilities.

As such, Recto invited Swedish investors to invest in the country’s flagship infrastructure projects primed and ready for PPP investments under the administration’s Build Better More program.

The program features 185 big-ticket infrastructure projects worth P9.14 trillion ranging from power, physical connectivity, rural development, water resources, digitalization, sustainable initiatives and healthcare.

Recto boasted of the Philippines’ status as the fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia even amid external challenges such as elevated inflation, slower global growth and rising geopolitical tensions.

“We also have pro-business and economic liberalization policies to foster a welcoming environment for businesses and encourage foreign partnerships,” Recto said.

These include the recently enacted PPP Code, the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Public Service Act and the Foreign Investments Act and the amendments in the implementing rules and regulations of the Renewable Energy Act.

The government is also refining the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act to further tailor fit incentives to investor interests and encourage investment in strategically important sectors.

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