The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) encouraged potential investors in Doha, Qatar and Dubai, United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) to explore investment opportunities in infrastructure projects in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao and the energy sector, which are key focus areas for the Philippine government.
“The Marcos Administration is committed to prioritizing infrastructure development in the Mindanao region – one of the country’s most promising regions because of its significantly untapped potential for various growth drivers, particularly in agriculture and agro-processing,” stated NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan during his presentation at the Philippine dialogue with investors in Doha, Qatar, and the Philippine Economic Briefing in Dubai, U.A.E.
He added that the government will prioritize projects that will significantly reduce the cost of connectivity and power in Mindanao, improve the region’s resilience to shocks caused by climate change, and raise Mindanao’s productivity as a growing agricultural and industrial hub.
Currently, there are 79 Infrastructure Flagship Projects (IFPs) worth USD 45.9 billion in Mindanao, with 9 projects being implemented through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).
Thus, Balisacan emphasized the crucial role of investors in helping the Philippine government realize the region’s potential, as well as the implementation of IFPs through PPPs.
“We will harness PPPs to finance these IFPs and other high-impact projects and leverage on the private sector’s ability to use innovative processes, efficiently mobilize its resources, and deliver high-quality services,” the NEDA chief said.
Another area that Balisacan pointed out to investors is the energy sector. He said that the Philippine Energy Plan 2020-2040 outlines how a more sustainable and resilient energy system will play a crucial role in driving the socioeconomic transformation of the Philippines.
“The country will need foreign direct investments in renewable energy. To achieve our target mix for renewable energy, we will require a total investment of about 104 billion US dollars by 2040,” he said.
Renewable energy is also identified as a priority under the Strategic Investment Priority Plan, which includes investment areas that may qualify for fiscal incentives.
“There has never been a better time to invest in the Philippines. Opportunities await not only in infrastructure, as mentioned, but also in our promising growth drivers such as agribusiness, mining, tourism, manufacturing, education, creative industries, healthcare, and the information technology and business process management sectors,” said Balisacan to investors in Doha and Dubai.
The Philippine dialogue in Doha, Qatar, held on September 10, 2023, and the Philippine Economic Briefing on September 12, 2023, in Dubai, U.A.E. and several other investor meetings are part of the Economic Team’s first non-deal roadshow and briefings in the Middle East.
In Doha, Qatar, 51 guests attended the dialogue, which includes officials of the Qatar government, senior executives of Qatar-based funds and corporates, as well as representatives of business groups, industry associations, financial community, and the media. The Economic Team also met with Qatar’s Ministry of Finance, Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar Cool, Qatar Insurance, and Qatar National Bank, among others.
In Dubai, U.A.E., the Economic Team also met through separate meetings, the CEO of Nasdaq Dubai, Hamed Ahmed Ali, Minister of State H.E. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi of the Ministry of Economy, Arqaam Capital, Maybank Islamic Berhad Dubai, Investment Corporation of Dubai, among others.