Friday, July 24, 2015

Changing global economic scenario makes Philippines more attractive to foreign investors, expert says July 24, 2015

From the Website of the President

Changing global economic scenario makes Philippines more attractive to foreign investors, expert says July 24, 2015
The Philippines is increasingly becoming more attractive to foreign investors because of current global economic developments, as well as the ability of the present government to carry out policies that favor businesses, a financial expert said on Thursday.

Senior advisor for Nomura Securities, Julius Caesar Parreñas, said a lot of Japanese companies are very interested in the Philippines, especially these past few years.

This is partly due to such global developments as the drop in oil prices that has hurt oil-exporting countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei, said Parreñas, who is also the Coordinator of the Asia-Pacific Infrastructure Partnership and Asia Pacific Financial Forum.
“In terms of relative performance, we are doing better than our neighbors. Also the slowdown in exports for example that hurt other counties in Asia, like Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, which are very strong in exports,” he said.

In the case of the Philippines, exports are less important for the country because a bigger chunk of the economy comes from domestic consumption, he noted, adding that this puts the Philippines at a relative advantage vis-a-vis its Asian neighbors, thus the country looks better than them.

“But I think a big part of that is also because of the ability of the Aquino administration to really introduce the right policies that investors want to see, to focus on things that investors like…, like infrastructure PPPs (public-private partnerships),” he said.

This government action has sent a very strong signal to investors all over the world that the Philippines is something that they should look at more seriously, he said.

In the case of Nomura, Parreñas said that after the Lehman crisis, Nomura had to reduce its presence in Asia, most especially in Southeast Asia.

He however pointed out that the region is becoming interesting again, due to such developments as the slowdown being experienced by China’s economy.

“We are starting to look at expanding our operations in the Philippines and expanding operations in areas like infrastructure, although we still don’t know how we’re going to do it because there are many ways of putting or being involved in infrastructure investment,” he said.

“But definitely, it is an area that now many Japanese companies are looking at.”


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