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PHL needs to push reform momentum with further economic opening — BCCP

THE Philippines needs to ride the momentum of recent reform measures to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) in order to sustain its economic recovery, the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP) said.

BCCP Executive Director Chris Nelson said in a television interview on Wednesday that momentum has been built up by measures such as the effort to amend the Public Service Act, Retail Trade Liberalization Act, and Foreign Investments Act.  

Mr. Nelson added that he would like to know the position of the Presidential regarding the further opening up of the economy to FDI.

“We’ve seen that obviously under the current administration. They prioritized those bills. We think there is genuine momentum. We’d like to see that carry forward, and to support and sustain the economic recovery,” Mr. Nelson said.  

“The Philippines is growing at 6% above pre-pandemic (levels). We strongly believe in that and we believe that can be sustained and further increased with FDI and with interest from UK companies,” he added.

According to Mr. Nelson, the BCCP in 2022 will publicize the economic reforms in the UK once they have been signed into law.

“We have plans to promote extensively in the UK. We’ve (alerted) our network already of these developments,” Mr. Nelson said.

“We’ve also highlighted the opportunities with the Foreign Investment Act and the Public Service Act,” he added.

The BCCP has said the approval of the measures will allow the Philippines to become regionally and globally competitive.

Mr. Nelson said over 160 British companies have expressed interest in the Philippines this year, adding that some of the group’s focus areas include retail, food, machinery, and business outsourcing.

He added that there is reason to be optimistic that FDI will increase following the passage of the reform bills.  

“We’ve seen a continued interest growing from the UK. The Philippines is a key focus area because it is a gateway to Southeast Asia,” Mr. Nelson said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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