THE United States Department of State has recognized the Philippines’ improvement in its overall investment climate, highlighting the country’s efforts on the ease of doing business, tax incentives and it’s Build, Build, Build program.
In its 2020 Investment Climate Statement released in September, the US Department of State noted the 2019 credit rating upgrade to BBB+ by Standard & Poor’s, the country’s highest credit rating to date.
“Overall sovereign credit ratings remain at investment grade based on the country’s sound macroeconomic fundamentals. The Philippines has received record-high foreign investment pledges approved by its investment promotion agencies (IPAs) at US$7.65 billion in 2019, which is more than doubled from 2018’s $3.60 billion,” it said.
The report said the country’s strong points continue to attract investments.
“Noteworthy advantages of the Philippine investment landscape include free trade zones, including economic zones and a large, educated, English-speaking and relatively low-cost Filipino workforce,” it said.
The department also stated the importance of special economic zones like the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza).
“While the Philippine bureaucracy can be slow and opaque in its processes, the business environment is notably better within the special economic zones, particularly those available for export businesses operated by Peza, known for its regulatory transparency, no red-tape policy and one-stop shop services for investors,” the report read.
Peza Director General Charito Plaza said the recognition is a huge confidence booster to the IPAs.
“Learning positive feedback and impressions from the US Department of State and from foreign and local partners and stakeholders about Peza’s brand of service and performance solidify our position that our agency is the top export-oriented investment promotion agency bringing investments, export income and jobs to many Filipinos and making the Philippines an investment hub in Asia,” Plaza said.
Even during these times filled with the uncertainties brought about by Covid-19 and the future of the Create bill, Plaza expressed gratitude to the US Department of State for acknowledging the agency’s contribution to the Philippine economy and “its vital role in making a competitive and positive business environment enticing investors in the country.”
Moreover, Peza said it continues to receive positive impressions from business groups and industry associations that testify on Peza’s efficiency and best practices over the years.
“Peza enjoys the trust and confidence of companies both from its parent, local and subsidiaries worldwide. Peza should retain its authority to grant incentives to its registered export-oriented enterprises. The ‘One Stop Shop for Exporters’ approach of Peza greatly aids exporters in ease of doing business also,” the Mactan Export Processing Zone Chamber of Exporters and Manufacturers said in a position paper.
The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines also stated that the “one-stop-shop nature of Peza has been an effective proponent of the country as a premier investment destination.” (JOB)