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Passage of economic reforms to advance Phl’s recovery and growth

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From left, Alvin Arogo, VP & Head of Research Division of Philippine National Bank and Chris Nelson, Executive Director and Trustee of British Chamber of Commerce Philippines during the recent Philippine Macroeconomic Briefing (Photo collage from THEPHILBIZNEWS/MAS)

As the country’s national elections draw near, policy continuity intended to further ease foreign ownership restrictions was identified to be crucial to sustain the Philippine economic outlook, as discussed during the recently held Philippine Macroeconomic Briefing hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines. 

Chris Nelson, BCCP Executive Director and Trustee and moderator of yesterday’s webinar asked Alvin Arogo, VP & Head of Research Division of Philippine National Bank on the potential impacts of the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis to the Philippine economy.

Among the key topics also discussed include the recent passage of amendments of the two priority economic reforms: the Retail Trade Liberalisation Act (RTLA) and Foreign Investment Act (FIA) which are now expected to drive additional entry of foreign direct investments (FDIs). 

More importantly, with the amendments of the RTLA and FIA successfully in place, the British Chamber is looking forward to the approval of the Public Service Act (PSA), a significant game-changer to the economy as described by the government and foreign business groups.

On 3rd February 2022, Congress ratified the bicameral conference committee report of the bill amending the PSA, shortly it was transmitted to the Malacañang and now currently awaiting for President Duterte’s approval. Moreover, Philippine ratification of its membership to Regional Comprehensive and Economic Partnership (RCEP) was also given a spotlight, emphasising the trade bloc could enhance competitiveness of the country’s local industries as well as the ability to attract FDIs.  

In a similar note, Arogo also shared his optimism in the Philippines’ bid for economic liberalisation by lowering foreign entry barriers. He said, “It’s been one of the roadblocks in getting firmer commitments from overseas firms to invest in the Philippines.” 

Briefly touching on the Philippines’ membership to RCEP, Arogo said that trade should be open to allow the country to enjoy growth in terms of efficiency and output.

As such, the Chamber remains at the forefront of key advocates for the Philippines’ economic liberalisation. The Chamber hopes that the next administration will continue the pursuit to open the economy, as this will aid in maintaining the positive outlook on the Philippine economy and its overall growth.

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