THE PHILIPPINES will hold an investor road show this week in London to drum up interest in infrastructure, energy, and tourism opportunities in the country, the Department of Finance (DoF) said in a statement over the weekend.
The Finance department said that Cabinet officials and some lawmakers will “update” British businessmen “on the progress of the Duterte administration’s economic reform agenda, particularly on its Comprehensive Tax Reform Program as well as the performance of the Philippine economy.”
The Philippine Economic Briefing will take place on Sept. 24-26.
It will be the third international road show this year, after the briefing in Tokyo in June and in Beijing in March.
The Philippine delegation will also brief investors on budget, monetary and fiscal sector reforms; and investment opportunities in the government’s infrastructure program — including the flagship New Clark City pro-ject that is envisioned to be the country’s next big metropolis and agro-industrial hub — as well as in the energy and tourism sectors.
“Aside from the Philippine Economic Briefing that will showcase investment prospects in the country, the top-level delegation will also take part in a Business Roundtable in London organized by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center to discuss with leaders of British business organizations and other groups the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program of the Duterte administration as well as the role in global trade, and opportunities in the Philippines’ industry, manufacturing and services sectors,” the DoF said in its statement.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III will lead the delegation, along with Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo, Bases Conversion and Development Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Vivencio B. Dizon, Deputy Speaker Pia S. Cayetano and Valenzuela 1st district Rep. Weslie T. Gatchalian.
The DoF also said the delegation will tour the first Jollibee fastfood restaurant in London, located along Earl’s Court Road that is set to open in October.
Central bank data showed that net foreign direct investments from the United Kingdom totalled $36.37 million last semester, more than seven times the $5.02 million recorded in 2017’s first half.
This year’s first seven months saw the Philippines export $315.94 million worth of goods to the UK, accounting for 0.8% of total merchandise exports and 5.1% more than the $300.69 million shipped in the same period in 2017, according to Philippine Statistics Authority data.
Merchandise imports from the UK on the other hand amounted to $352.81 million as of July, representing 0.6% of inbound goods in that period and 22.9% more than the $289.28 million in 2017’s comparable seven months.
The UK was the eighth biggest source of foreign tourists in the Philippines in 2017, bringing in over 180,000 British nationals into the country. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan