April 13, 2024 People's Journal 78 views

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Saturday expressed optimism that the staging of the 6th Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) in Manila this year will draw a surge of foreign investments into the country, creating more jobs and livelihood opportunities for Filipinos.

This developed after President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. extended his invitation to top US business leaders to participate in the event in Manila on May 21, 2024, in his keynote address at the Philippine-US Business Forum Friday afternoon (US Time) in Washington D.C.

The PH-US Business Forum was held on the sidelines of the historic trilateral meeting between US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and President Marcos, Jr.

“I am confident that the 6th Indo-Pacific Business Forum will serve as a springboard for increased investment inflows into the Philippines,” said Speaker Romualdez, leader of the 300-plus strong House of Representatives.

“By bringing together key stakeholders to discuss critical issues and explore collaboration opportunities, we aim to propel the country’s economic growth and development to new heights, creating more jobs and livelihood opportunities for our people,” he added.

Earlier, Philippine Ambassador to the US, Jose Manuel “Babe” Romualdez estimated that around $100 billion in investments from the US and Japan may come to the Philippines in five to 10 years as a result of the historic trilateral summit.

The 6th Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Manila is expected to bring together some 500 business leaders, project developers, government officials, and financing sources to discuss topics such as infrastructure, supply chain resilience, critical minerals, clean energy, the digital economy, emerging technologies, and inclusive trade.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the Philippine government will co-host the 6th IPBF in Manila in partnership with the U.S. Department of State.

In his remarks during the PH-US Business Forum, President Marcos, Jr. assured US business leaders of continuing efforts for a more investment-friendly environment in the Philippines, including key legislations such as the Public Services Act (PSA), the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, the Foreign Investments Act, and the IRR of the Renewable Energy Act.

He said these reforms have opened the country’s sectors of manufacturing, transportation, telecommunication, shipping, renewable energy such as wind, solar, and tidal, and the retail sector to foreign investors.

President Marcos likewise cited Executive Order 18, which established the Green Lanes for Strategic Investments meant to streamline processes and permitting procedures to create an environment where businesses can set up and expand with ease.

Speaker Romualdez said the forthcoming IPBF gathering in Manila underscores our country’s growing prominence as a hub for business and investment in the dynamic Indo-Pacific region.

He added that the forum will not only showcase the Philippines’ investment potential but also strengthen ties with international partners and facilitate the exchange of best practices in various sectors.

“The House of Representatives will continue working hand in hand with the administration of President Marcos towards the realization of his vision for the Philippines to achieve upper-middle income economy status by the start of the next decade,” Romualdez said.

The IPBF is the premier public-private U.S. government event to promote trade, investment, and economic cooperation between the United States and its partners throughout the Indo-Pacific region.

This year’s IPBF will build upon the success of the previous five forums that have brought together more than 8,500 participants from 67 countries.