MANILA, Philippines - Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima sees more foreign investments coming into the Philippines.
In an interview on ANC Headstart, Purisima said some garment companies are starting to relocate from China to the Philippines, due to rising labor costs in China.
He added electronics companies, which have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the flooding in Thailand last year are starting to look at the Philippines.
"The stock market is getting a lot of investments from foreign funds. Obviously we want the more productive type of investment and we're starting to see it. For example, garment companies that are starting to relocate from China, where the wage costs are increasing, back to the Philippines. Electronics companies realized last year that they cannot be just in one place... They're starting to look at the Philippines. The Department of Trade and Industry is managing a lot of inquiries right now. There are concrete plans for plants to be built in the Philippines," Purisima said.
This is why, Purisima said, the government has to improve the country's infrastructure to meet the standards of foreign investors.
"We are accelerating our efforts to build our infrastructure because infrastructure is important to make sure we're as efficient as our neighbors -- our ports, airports, power, mass transit, the whole work," he said.
"Coming out party"
Infrastructure will be the main topic in the upcoming 45th Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which will be held in Manila next week. Purisima said there will also be discussions on poverty alleviation, disaster management and climate change, which are all relevant for the Philippines.
Purisima said a record number of participants are attending the ADB event, which will be a "coming out" party for the Aquino administration.
"We're going to make this more fun," he said, referencing the Philippines' tourism slogan "It's more fun in the Philippines."
The ADB meeting in Manila, Purisima said, will be more personal than previous conferences.
"We're also going to make it true knowledge-sharing. I've attended other ADB conferences, and its very impersonal. We want this to be personal, an experience for all attendees... So far, we have 4,300 participants -- a record. This is the highest ever so far and over half will be coming from abroad. These are not just ordinary tourists, these are decision-makers, leading bankers, fund managers, leaders in the NGO community converging in Manila," he said.
The Finance Secretary expressed hope these opinon leaders, who will visit Manila, will spread the good news about the Philippines.
"When they go back home, hopefully they will spread the good word that finally, the Philippines has gotten its act together. We have a leadership that believes in good governance, truly cares and want to build a better Philippines," he said. - With ANC