MANILA, Sept 8 (Mabuhay) — The Philippines is keen on forging stronger ties with the Singaporean business community, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said Wednesday.

He made this remark as he invited inventors to take part in the Philippines’ “economic resurgence” in a speech during the first-ever international Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. meets with President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at The Istana to further strengthen relations between the Philippines and Singapore.  The bilateral agreements signed during President Marcos’ state visit to Singapore are expected to pave the way for both countries to pursue collaborative development and prosperity objectives. (MNS photo)

“We are presently on a steady path to a strong recovery from the pandemic and a robust economic expansion. In the next few years, our economy is expected to outperform our regional peers,” he said.

Citing the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act or the CREATE law and economic liberalization measures in place, Marcos said the country has expanded the space for foreign investments and joint venture opportunities for industry players.

The CREATE law, which aims to encourage more investors to put their funds into the domestic economy, is the government’s pandemic relief measure for local and foreign firms operating in the country.

He also assured that his administration is committed to establishing an “more competitive business climate” that is conducive to high-value investments.

‘Strong recovery’

Meanwhile, Marcos expressed confidence that the Philippines’ next six years will be grounded on a favorable investment policy environment, sound macroeconomic fundamentals, and a strong and decisive economic team.

He said his administration’s 8-point socio-economic agenda underscores commitment through broad-based job creation, expansion of digital infrastructure, and promotion of research and development across the country.

“This strategy will enable us to reduce poverty sharply and upgrade the country to upper-middle income status. We will exercise fiscal prudence in the fulfillment of that agenda,” he said.

Marcos said his administration will also be pursuing a medium-term fiscal framework that will widen fiscal space and allow continued investments in public infrastructure and human capital development.

“We will expand our high investments in public infrastructure by leveraging our public-private partnerships mechanisms. We will improve interconnectivity through transportation development. We will fast-track the development of our railway systems, modernize our airports and seaports and enhance our road infrastructure,” he said.

Modern agriculture

Likewise, he said his administration will focus on agriculture as a strong driver for growth.

“An efficient and modern agriculture sector will ensure food security and reduce poverty incidence. We will also invigorate the tourism sector through massive investments and travel infrastructure and the promotion of the Filipino brand around the world,” he added.

The PEB in Singapore was conducted in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy Singapore and the Philippine Trade and Investment Centre Singapore, together with partner banks namely, BoFa Securities, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, SMBC Nikko, Standard Chartered Bank, and UBS.

Marcos is currently in Singapore for a two-day state visit until Thursday. He just concluded his state visit to Indonesia from Sept. 4 to 6.

Singapore is the Philippines’ top investor last year, with Singaporean companies maintaining big-ticket projects in telecommunications, infrastructure, startup and innovation, renewable energy, and healthcare. (MNS)