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Philippines business groups forge PPP ties with New Zealand

Philippines business groups forge PPP ties with New Zealand
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. welcomes New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon during the arrival honors ceremony at Malacañang on Thursday./Yummie Dingding 

MANILA, Philippines —  The country’s business leaders explored new opportunities to boost economic cooperation with New Zealand, following the recent visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to the Philippines.

According to the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC), the stronger public-private partnerships and investment opportunities between the two countries were showcased at the Philippines-New
Zealand Business Matching Session held at Raffles Makati on April 18.

“We explore new opportunities to further strengthen and expand our bilateral ties through increased economic partnerships. And for us, there is no better time than now for New Zealand to be part of the Philippines’ promising growth story and steady ascent to the global stage,” Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs Frederick Go said in a statement released by PSAC yesterday.

Among those who attended the business matching session with Luxon were Go, Sabin Aboitiz and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, chairman of the Ayala Group.

The business session provided a vital platform for Filipino and New Zealand businesses to develop partnerships, particularly in sectors like dairy, meat, wood and technology, the PSAC said.

Sabin Aboitiz, PSAC strategic lead convenor and president and chief executive officer of the Aboitiz Group, said “there has never been a better time to invest in the Philippines” than under President Marcos’ administration.

“This cooperation has enabled an environment where both government and business can thrive,” she said.

The administration has implemented various measures to enhance the country’s business climate such as the Green Lanes for strategic investments and tax law reforms, which promote business expansion and transparency.
The advisory council also cited recent legislative developments, like the Retail Trade Liberalization Act and the Public Services Act, which it said “have opened new avenues for foreign investments, ushering in a promising era for investors in sectors such as electronics, semiconductors and renewable energy.”

In 2023, New Zealand ranked as the Philippines’ 28th trading partner, with total trade amounting to $495.37 million. It was also the Philippines’ 38th export destination and 24th import source.

The Philippines has a $361.94-million trade deficit with New Zealand.

In 2021, New Zealand was ranked as the 34th source of approved investments in the manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade industry.

From 2018 to 2022, approved investments from New Zealand amounted to $3.49 million in key sectors such as manufacturing, administrative and support services activities, wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles.

Meanwhile, PSAC recommended to Marcos on Friday the allocation of P608 billion annually to fund internet connectivity in public facilities.

The President met with PSAC at Malacañang where they discussed updates and recommendations concerning the Digital Infrastructure Work Plans.

To improve internet connectivity, PSAC urged Marcos to mandate Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)-accredited tower companies for last-mile telco infrastructure, boosting tower-sharing and fiber builds to enhance network efficiency and allocating P608 billion annually for DICT to facilitate internet access for 125,000 public facilities.

Also discussed was the strengthening of regulatory policies to promote telecom sustainability to create “1 Million Digital Jobs” by 2028, the end of Marcos’ term. — Helen Flores

Credit belongs to: www.philstar.com

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