President Benigno Aquino III urged Tuesday potential investors to consider expanding their respective businesses in the Philippines since the country is now in a better position to offer more and readily meet their requirements in order for their investments to prosper.
In his speech during the opening of the Philippine Investment Forum 2013 at the Peninsula Manila in Makati City, Aquino said that potential investors could partner with the government in investing in three priority sectors.
These include agriculture, which is the source of income for some 12.1-million Filipinos; tourism, which expects some 56-million visitors by 2016; and infrastructure, which will support agriculture and tourism through the development of road networks, ports, and airports that will ensure the safety and efficient passage of tourists and goods all over the country.
“At the end of the day, we are inviting you to come to the Philippines whether in these three sectors, or in others, because we know that, here, hard work, innovation, and creativity are rewarded with success,” the President said.
“This is not an empty promise — you will have the Filipino people and our administration as committed partners,” he added.
Aquino underscored the creativity, dedication, and loyalty of Filipino labor, saying these are the characteristics that firms want in their work force.
“Given the opportunity, they (Filipino workers) will do the same for you, whatever industry you may be involved in,” the President said.
“The investments that you will bring into our country will redound to tens of thousands of jobs for our countrymen—men and women who will be able to put food on their tables, send their children to school, and meet the needs and wants of their families,” he said.
“Together, we will be empowering them: giving them greater power to contribute to economic growth and opportunities to uplift their lives and even the lives of their fellow Filipinos. All together, we will be building the success of the industry, the Philippines and the Filipino people,” he added.
The President noted that since he assumed office in 2010, he had spent the last two years and eight months on weeding out graft and corruption in order to provide a level playing field for all as well as to “ensure that integrity, transparency, and accountability characterize our actions.”
“Over the past years, we have been doing everything we can to level the playing field—from reforming the judiciary, to streamlining the process of setting up business in the Philippines, to following the proper bidding and procurement processes. We are also investing heavily in our countrymen—empowering them to take stock of their lives and to realize their potential,” Aquino said.
The Philippine Investment Forum 2013 brings together policymakers, business leaders, economists and key overseas investors in painting an overview of the Philippine economy including analysis into all its key sectors.