Economist thinks PH needs more FDI

The Philippine economy is one of the fastest growing in the Indo-Pacific, but foreign direct investment (FDI) is needed to sustain that growth, says economist Dr. D., said Bernardo Villegas.

“Our GDP (gross domestic product) is really growing right now through consumption – revenge spending, revenge travel, revenge tourism – and we are all jumping for joy,” Villegas said during the 2023 economic briefing on Feb. 23.

However, he stressed the need to attract more foreign direct investment to the country.

“This is one side of the picture. The other side of the picture is that we are not investing. This will jeopardize our future,” Villegas added.

However, he praised the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. because it takes steps to attract FDI to the country.

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In addition, one of the important steps to attract foreign direct investment is the creation of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), which “will be a partner of foreigners,” Villegas added.

“Local companies like San Miguel, Ayala, etc., etc., but these local companies are running out of local capital because we don’t have domestic savings and they can’t borrow indefinitely. the debt is very high — 60 percent to be exact — so all other long-term financing options are temporarily disabled,” the economist explained, referring to the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio of 60.9 percent recorded last December.

“The MIF can be a very effective tool for attracting foreign direct investment,” Villegas said.