World Bank bats for more open PH economy to boost growth

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 24 2018 07:21 PM

MANILA - The World Bank (WB) on Monday recommended reducing restrictions on foreign investors, and improving competition in the telecommunications sector and other industries, to boost the country's productivity and economic growth. 

The multilateral lender said, besides telecoms, there should also be increased competition in the electricity and transport sectors. 

The government should also allow foreign competition in several sectors and reduce equity limits on foreign investors, the World Bank said. 

“By creating an equal playing field and simplifying business regulations, firms will be encouraged to enter the market and invest, grow, and innovate, leading to higher labor productivity,” said Rong Qian, World Bank senior economist.

The World Bank also recommended streamlining procedures to start new businesses and paying taxes, reducing trade costs by improving port and logistics infrastructure, pursuing more balanced regulations between employees and employers by lowering the costs and simplifying procedures for hiring and firing workers, and making regular employment contracts more flexible.

“Market competition, coupled with a flexible labor market, allows higher productivity and raises the real incomes of Filipino workers.”

The Philippines needs to grow 6.5 percent per year in the next 22 years to achieve its vision of becoming a prosperous society free of poverty by 2040, according to a new World Bank study released Monday.