President Aquino recognizes that the Philippines is behind its Southeast Asian neighbors when it comes to direct foreign investments. Aquino points at the unstable political and economic circumstances of the country under the Arroyo administration that has made it difficult for the country to attract foreign investors. The Japanese investors and other foreign banks that started to operate in the Philippines has improved the situation, he said Tuesday.
The good news, according to the President is that in the last five years, the country has gained momentum describing the Philippines as a “much more friendly environment,” he said in his speech at the grand opening of the first Manila branch of the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Monday night.
Japan’s trade volume in the Philippines reaches $19.15 billion in 2014 making Japan the top trading partner of the Philippines. In the President’s list, three Japanese companies were named to have productive relationships with the Filipinos –
- Toyota for automobile manufacturing
- Tsuneishi for shipbuilding
- International Wiring Systems Philippines (WSP), a wiring harness company.
Meanwhile, Gerardo P. Sicat may disagree listing several major shortcomings and gaps in the Philippine economy and Aquino presidency.
- Analysis of the Philippines’ main problems is not inclusive enough.
- Restrictive foreign investment provisions despite efforts in the houses of congress and senate.
- Sluggish implementation of investment projects.
- Consumption-led growth approach contributing to a sloppy attitude towards developing strong initiatives for a deeper reform towards an investment-led economic growth.
- Failing to prick up employment creation to accelerate reduction of the poverty record.
- Mis-governance and failed leaderships tolerated under the Aquino administration.
These shortcomings and gaps in our economy under the Aquino administration, according to Sicat, “leads us to a closer look at the quality and depth of the development process, to the exposition of problems lurking ahead.”