MANILA - To attract more foreign investments, the country's economic team will hold a series of briefings to market the Philippines in the business community in the Middle East, Asia and Europe in the first half of the year.
One of the members of the country's economic team, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, revealed this Saturday night in a prerecorded interview with SMNI News Channel.
"It's basically to showcase the Philippines, just to show them that we're open for business and we have a lot of investment opportunities in the country," Pangandaman said.
A couple of roadshows will be conducted between February to June of this year in the Middle East, then Asia and Europe.
"So, we're out maybe most of the time for the first semester of the year," she said.
The economic team of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has so far conducted three Philippine Economic Briefings (PEB).
In January, the PEB in Europe, covering Frankfurt in Germany and London in the United Kingdom, was held to present the economic situation and investment opportunities in the Philippines.
The previous PEBs were held in Singapore and the United States (US) in 2022.
Pangandaman said the next economic briefing will be in Japan where Marcos will be embarking on a working visit from Feb. 8 to 12.
She expressed optimism that the meetings would open more opportunities in various sectors of the country, including tourism and infrastructure.
Pangandaman noted that while there are a "lot" of business leaders and investors who have expressed intent to invest in the Philippines, their concern is the ease of doing business in the country.
She, nevertheless, said the Marcos administration's bid for digital transformation keeps the potential investors optimistic.
"They are also happy to note that we're into digitalization," Pangandaman said. "We asked all the agencies to make sure that they digitalize their processes, not just their documents but their processes."
For the second half of 2023, the economic briefings will be conducted in the Philippines, Pangandaman said.
Marcos earlier stressed the importance of attracting more investments to sustain the growth momentum of the Philippine economy.
PH debt not a cause for concern
Meanwhile, the Budget secretary said the country's PHP13.420-trillion outstanding debt in end-2022, should not be a cause for concern.
This statement came as she vouched for the competence of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
"If you look at it, it's only 10 percent of the budget, the payments that we do," Pangandaman said. "We have a very competent secretary of Finance. It's not a problem."
Pangandaman added that the proposed creation of the country's first-ever sovereign wealth fund, or the so-called Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) is a welcome development.
"Any reform or effort of the national government or even the legislators for that matter that will help us have enough fiscal space is good news for the Department of Budget and management. That's why we're happy when we introduced the Maharlika Fund," she said. (PNA)