• PH to market itself as FDI destination in APEC Summit

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    THE Philippine government is hoping to grab a bigger share of foreign direct investments (FDIs) coming from the world’s top economies as it hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in 2015.

    In a statement on Tuesday, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said the country will take advantage of the hosting opportunity to sell its strengths and potentially generate more FDIs from the 21 member-economies of APEC.

    Last year, net inflow of FDIs to the Philippines reached $3.86 billion, up by 20 percent from $3.215 billion the previous year. However, the Investor Relations Office of the BSP said the government wants to corner even more investments in order to boost job generation and better inclusivity in its economic growth.

    The IRO said that concerned government agencies and private-sector groups have begun meetings for the formulation of a master plan for the country’s hosting of the APEC.

    The 2015 APEC Summit is a high-profile event expected to be attended by government and business leaders from various parts of the globe. The event follows the World Economic Forum on East Asia, which the Philippines hosted last month for the first time.

    IRO said that the Department of Trade and Industry would take a lead role in the business and investment promotion during the year-round event.

    Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo said the hosting of the APEC Summit comes at an ideal time because of recent positive developments in the economy that can be used as investment selling points.

    Domingo said that promotional mileage is a significant benefit of hosting high-profile events like the APEC Summit.

    “With the spotlight turned to the Philippines, the world is able to learn more about the strengths of the country,” he said.

    “As we welcome business and government leaders from different parts of the globe to our shores, we want to tell them that the Philippines, which has become a rare bright spot amid uncertainties in the global economy, is an ideal place for investments,” Domingo added.

    The Trade secretary also said that as the country is said to be entering the demographic sweet spot, it is the opportune time for any business to start marking its place in a vibrant economy.

    IRO said that both the government and the private sector expect a successful hosting of the 2015 APEC Summit to help the country attract more investments.

    As such, the IRO mentioned that Malacañang recently issued Administrative Order 36, which created the National Organizing Council (NOC) for the 2015 APEC meetings and delineated the role of concerned officials and line agencies in the hosting.

    Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. chairs the council, and Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario serves as his co-chair.

    For its part, the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) said that the hosting of high-level business conferences meant not only providing a venue for the meetings but also working keenly on fulfilling the agenda of generating investments.

    According to Guillermo Luz, the private-sector co-chair of the NCC, the year-round series of APEC meetings to be held in the country in 2015 is expected to highlight myriad investment opportunities.

    “Our country is a nice place to hold international events. But apart from providing a venue for meetings and parties, we have a clear objective of investment promotion,” Luz said during the recent meeting of concerned government agencies and private-sector groups on the preparation for the 2015 APEC Summit.

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