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11 March 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A delegation from Team Invest Philippines participated in a Roundtable Discussion at the International Finance Corporation in Washington, D.C. on 08 March 2016 and discussed the Philippine success story of attracting and retaining investments.

The Delegation was composed of Chairman Deogracias G.P. Custodio, Freeport Authority of Bataan (AFAB); Chairman Christopher Lawrence S. Arnuco, Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone and Freeport (ZCSEZA); Executive Director Erlinda B. Pamintuan, Subic-Clark Alliance for Development (SCAD); and Evangeline G. Tejada, Vice President for Business Development of Clark Development Corporation.

In a roundtable discussion chaired by Christine Qiang, Investment Climate Manager at the World Bank Group Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, the officials briefed investment specialists and experts on the various programs and policies of investment promotion agencies in attracting and retaining investments, including targeted investment promotion strategies; coordinated approaches to investment promotion and policy; fiscal and non-fiscal incentives; investor aftercare programs; business one-stop shop action centers; and investor linkages initiatives.

In leading off the discussions, AFAB Chairman Custodio described the establishment of Team Invest Philippines and how the various Philippine investment promotion agencies (IPAs) have come together as a single force to convince the global business community that “business is more fun” in the Philippines. He also gave an overview of the Philippine Investment Priorities Plan, and how Team Invest is an “integrated, harmonized, and collaborative effort to promote the Philippines.”

ZCSEZA Chairman Arnuco enumerated some of the legislative and administrative measures put in place during the Aquino Administration that assure the institutionalization of good governance and good economics. He specifically referred to the amendment of the Cabotage Law in domestic shipping, which has implications on business costs and efficiency; and to the Go Negosyo Act, which encourages entrepreneurship among the younger generation of Filipinos. He also made the case for more investments in Mindanao.

Ms. Pamintuan and Ms. Tejada then outlined the best practices in Subic and Clark Freeport Zones, including initiatives such as the womb to tomb program that ensures assistance for locators in Clark from establishment until its day-to-day operations. They also underscored the shift from competition among the various IPAs, to a regime of “coopetition,” or a healthy combination of cooperation and competition.

During the discussion with the roundtable participants, the specialists had the chance to exchange views on the Philippine best practices, the pros and cons of fiscal or non-fiscal incentives, the feasibility of just one investment promotion agency for the entire country, and the importance of public-private sector partnerships.

The delegation was congratulated by the participants for the impressive track record of the Philippines in investment promotion, and encouraged to share Philippine best practices more broadly.

Ms. Qiang, in her closing remarks, drew particular attention to how the IPAs now coordinate and “compete” for investments, and how other developing countries might learn from the Philippines’ success and experience.

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. expressed satisfaction with how well-received the IPA presentations were at the IFC roundtable.

“The four Philippine IPAs that participated at the IFC roundtable are some of the most dynamic and strategic among our various promotion agencies. And they have successfully conveyed the rich economic and investment advantages for those who decide to locate in the Philippines,” Ambassador Cuisia said. ###

11 March 2016

Team Invest Philippines engages international finance experts in Washington, D.C. on 08 March 2016. Among the presenters are (L-R facing camera) VP Evangeline G. Tejada, Clark Development Corporation; ED Erlinda B. Pamintuan, Subic-Clark Alliance for Development; Chairman Christopher Lawrence S. Arnuco, Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone; and Freeport Chairman Deogracias G.P. Custodio, Freeport Authority of Bataan.