BUDGET Secretary Amenah Pangandaman. Photo from DBM

Gov’t to stage more investor briefings

Economic managers will hold more briefings abroad in a bid to lure investors in the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said.

“It’s basically to showcase the Philippines, just to show them that we’re open for business and we have a lot of investment opportunities in the country,” she said in a prerecorded interview with the SMNI News Channel.

A Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) was conducted in Frankfurt and London last month and Pangandaman said a couple of roadshows would be held between February to June of this year in the Middle East, then Asia and Europe.

“So, we’re out maybe most of the time for the first semester of the year,” she said.

The economic team of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has so far conducted three PEBs. Prior to the one in Frankfurt and Germany, PEBs were held in the US and Singapore last September

Pangandaman said the next economic briefing would be in Japan where Marcos will have working visit from Feb. 8 to 12.

She expressed optimism that the meetings would open more opportunities in various sectors of the country, including tourism and infrastructure.

Pangandaman noted that while there are a “lot” of business leaders and investors who have expressed intent to invest in the Philippines, their concern is the ease of doing business in the country.

For the second half of 2023, the economic briefings will be conducted in the Philippines, she said.

Marcos has stressed the importance of attracting more investments to sustain the growth momentum of the Philippine economy.

During the interview, the Budget secretary also said that the country’s P13.420-trillion outstanding debt in end-2022 should not be a cause for concern.

“If you look at it, it’s only 10 percent of the budget, the payments that we do,” Pangandaman said.

“We have a very competent secretary of Finance. It’s not a problem.”

Pangandaman added that the proposed creation of the so-called Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) would be a welcome development.

“Any reform or effort of the national government or even the legislators for that matter that will help us have enough fiscal space is good news for the Department of Budget and management,” she said.

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