The Philippine economic fundamentals remain solid to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs) even amid issues of extra-judicial killings, said former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan on Tuesday.
“So far, the economic fundamentals are solid… Now, we have so many sectors that are growing and providing sources of foreign exchange. Remittances are very strong (and) tourism; foreign investments are coming in,” he told reporters.
Balisacan, former director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), noted that foreign investors pour in their money into the country, taking into account the country’s economic fundamentals over the last few years and the years ahead.
“When investors come in, I’m talking about FDIs, not the portfolio investments, they look at the long picture, the big picture, not the short-term volatilities,” he explained. “They don’t look at day-to-day or week-to-week or month-to-month changes.”
Balisacan believes that short-term political events can only affect investments when these impact the real sector.
“At the very least, they might (adopt) wait-and-see attitude but they are very, very pragmatic people. They can say they can make money despite the political (events),” he added.
Meanwhile, Balisacan, now the chairman of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), said the Commission had started a comprehensive national competition policy review to identify anti-competitive measures and practices in the various industries of the economy.
Balisacan said the study focusing on the activities of the PCC in the near to medium term was expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year.
He added the Commission was currently reviewing and investigating 65 merger and acquisition deals.
PCC Commissioner Stella Luz Quimbo said the companies belong to various sectors of the economy, including banks, consumer goods and some pharmaceuticals.
“These are both offshore and onshore. Some are pretty big (deals) at over a trillion pesos,” she said in an interview.
Balisacan identified anti-competitive measures adopted by various sectors among the key constraints hindering the growth of businesses and the Philippine economy.
PCC is an independent quasi-judicial body created to promote and maintain market competition by regulating anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominant position and anti-competitive mergers and acquisitions.