The Philippines is heading in the right direction toward achieving its goal of sustaining its growth momentum, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said over the weekend.
In a vlog uploaded on his official Facebook page on Saturday, Marcos said the P708 billion in investment pledges secured during his five-day working visit to Japan from Feb. 8-12 is an indication that his administration is on the “right track.”
“We all know that they are businessmen. They could not be pleased just by mere appeals. They need to see the Philippines’ potential for good operation (of businesses),” Mr. Marcos said in Filipino.
“With the signing of LOIs (Letter of Intent, a document outlining the general plans of an agreement between two or more parties before a legal agreement is finalized), it proves that we are on the right track in managing our economy, that we are heading in the right direction,” he added.
Around 35 LOIs and agreements have been signed between the governments of the Philippines and Japan, as well as different business companies from both nations, to deepen their partnerships in various sectors such as manufacturing, infrastructure development, energy, transportation, healthcare, renewable energy, and business expansion.
The investment pledges from Japanese business leaders are expected to generate around 24,000 jobs for Filipinos.
Mr. Marcos expressed optimism that the latest development would make the Philippine economy more robust.
He said his foreign travels are aimed at fulfilling his administration’s desire for a “new Philippines.”
“Our overseas trips, including Japan, to encourage more investments is a big part of our roadmap toward a new Philippines,” Mr, Marcos said.
“We will nurture our connections and partnerships we need to achieve our goals. A new Philippines shows not just our recovery but also development.”
Malacañang announced on Friday that Marcos’ foreign trips have so far generated a total of 116 investment projects worth P3.48 trillion ($62.926 billion), based on a report from the Department of Trade and Industry.
Mr. Marcos said his administration welcomes and is open to “new and modern” ways of boosting the Philippine economy.
He also reiterated that he would strengthen the public-private partnership (PPP) under his watch, as he acknowledged its crucial role in revitalizing the economy.
“We need the help of every sector in society. The biggest part of society is the private sector,” Mr. Marcos said.
“All of our goals can only be attained if the public and private sectors have good relations. We will continue to strengthen public-private partnership or PPP,” he added.
Mr. Marcos said his administration also seeks to woo more investments in the manufacturing industry.
This, as he said the Philippines is ready to become a “manufacturing country.” “We can generate more jobs there. And if the manufacturing operations in the country become successful, we can also export. That’s a big help because we can expand our operations to other countries,” Marcos said.
“If the Philippines can export, we no longer need to import. We can use the money we are spending for importation to help grow our economy,” he added.
The Board of Investments (BOI) has remained bullish on hitting its P1-trillion investment approvals target for 2023, given the “aggressive but strategic” promotion initiatives being conducted globally with no less than Marcos as the “country’s top salesman.”
Lanie Dormiendo, director for the International Investments Promotion Service of the BOI, said the current administration is making the manufacturing sector “innovative and sustainable” to entice more foreign investors and make the Philippines as a “prime investment destination.”