More foreign investors coming to PH: Swiss envoy

Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2022 12:39 PM | Updated as of Mar 23 2022 01:00 PM

MANILA - Switzerland's Ambassador to the Philippines Alain Gaschen on Tuesday said he is expecting more foreign investors to come to the Philippines following the signing into law of the amendments to the Public Service Act.

The amended PSA redefined what sectors are considered public utilities and are subject to a 40 percent foreign ownership cap. 

Those excluded from the list, such as telcos, airlines and railways, among others, will be liberalized where 100 percent foreign ownership will be allowed.

At a media reception marking the 65th anniversary of Swiss-Philippines diplomatic relations, Gaschen revealed some companies are planning to set up shop here.

"We just had last week a Swiss company coming and deciding to establish a factory in the Philippines. We have more missions. Yes, I expect companies to come to the Philippines and to attract investments not only from Switzerland, but from other countries as well," Gaschen said.

Aside from the amended PSA, Gaschen said the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law (TRAIN law) and the Corporate Recovery Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE law) could also boost the country's economic recovery.

"With the reforms, TRAIN, CREATE and now Public Service Act, I expect more investments, more trade to come with the economic recovery of the Philippines," Gaschen said.

The Swiss envoy said trade relations between the two countries are starting to bounce back following the first 2 years of the pandemic which has affected global trade. 

He also saw an uptick in the number of Filipinos applying for tourist visas, as well as those wanting to study in Switzerland. Swiss tourists have also started to come back to the Philippines, he said.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson as well as the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines officials have also noted that the liberalization of some business would usher in more foreign funds and spur economic growth.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua earlier said the trio of economic reforms, namely the amended PSA, the amended Retail Trade Liberalization Law as well as the Foreign Investment Act, would "revitalize" the pandemic-hit economy.

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