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PIA Press Release

PGMA assures strategic investors gov't will maintain incentives

Quezon City (6 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assured investors today that her administration will keep and enhance the incentives the Philippines offers to strategic and foreign investors, especially exporters, as the government strives to achieve its $3 billion annual foreign direct investment (FDI) target.

"The incentives need not be fiscal. The incentives you want are the competitive elements: the workers being paid well enough in terms of affordable food; the technology, in other words, our continuing knowledge worker richness in our economy, the infrastructure, the power and the reduction of red tape," she said.

The President also said she was aware of the concern of businessmen over the effect of the continuing strength of the peso on export. She added that while she leaves it to the market forces to determine the value of the country’s currency, her economic team is undertaking concrete steps to assist the export sector.

She said her support for Charter change includes the removal from the Constitution of restrictions on foreign investments "because it should be Congress that should legislate them and not the Constitution."

The President told the over 300 workshop participants that the FDI target of $3 billion a year for the Philippines is highly achievable given the latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that for the first semester of 2006, total net inflow reached $996 million.

"If the trend continues for the second semester, this will almost be $2 billion for one year and therefore, we only have to work for an additional $1 billion a year," she said.

The Chief Executive also underscored the need to lure more foreign direct investments so as to create more jobs and stop the migration of Filipinos in search of jobs abroad. (PIA) [top]

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