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Enhancing Philippines-New Zealand Economic Relations Through Increased Investments and Partnerships

NZ PH biz dinner
From left to right, PSAC strategic lead convenor and Aboitiz Group president and CEO Sabin Aboitiz, Secretary Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs Frederick D. Go, New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual, and New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Kell gather for a memorable photograph at the Philippine-New Zealand Business Matching Session, marking a significant step towards stronger economic partnerships

The Philippine-New Zealand Business Matching Session on April 18, 2024, at Raffles Makati, organized by the Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs (OSAPIEA) and Department of Trade and Industry – Board of Investments (DTI-BOI) supported by the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC), strengthened economic relations between the Philippines and New Zealand. Attended by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, the event emphasized cultural and educational ties, including scholarships for over 120,000 Filipinos, while showcasing the Philippines as a growing investment hub poised for deeper economic collaboration.

Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual expressed gratitude and optimism during the session: “We warmly welcome Prime Minister Luxon and his delegation to the Philippines and extend our deepest gratitude to PSAC for your ongoing support in fostering strong public-private partnerships. This event is a cornerstone in our mission to enhance bilateral trade and investment with New Zealand. We invite our friends from New Zealand to seize the multitude of investment opportunities in sectors such as agribusiness, IT-BPM, renewable energy, and manufacturing. Together, let’s harness the boundless possibilities our partnership holds and make significant strides towards a shared and prosperous future.”

Secretary of Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs Frederick D. Go (second from left), alongside Private Sector Advisory Council Lead Convenor and Aboitiz Group President and Chief Engagement Officer Sabin Aboitiz (second from right), Chairman of Ayala Group Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, (center), among others, warmly welcomes The Right Honorable Prime Minister Christopher Luxon (first from left) and his delegation at the Philippine-New Zealand Business Matching Session, emphasizing strengthened economic partnerships and mutual growth between the two nations

Under President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s administration, both the government and private sectors have effectively cultivated an environment conducive to growth, which was evident during the business matching session. Filipino and New Zealand businesses explored opportunities for collaboration, particularly in key sectors such as dairy, meat, wood, and technology.

Sabin Aboitiz, PSAC strategic lead convenor and President and CEO of the Aboitiz Group, highlighted the significant strides made in creating a favorable investment climate: “The unprecedented collaboration between the private and public sectors under President Marcos Jr.’s leadership has set the stage for both to thrive. Our efforts in improving the business climate through initiatives like the Green Lanes for strategic investments and tax law reforms have been pivotal.”

The recent enactment of the Retail Trade Liberalization Act and the Public Services Act has also opened new doors for foreign investors, ushering in a new era for investors in the electronics, semiconductors, and renewable energy sectors.

“This visit marks an important milestone in the longstanding relationship between our two countries – one that is characterized by strong people-to-people exchanges, and a mutual commitment to cooperation across sectors. Today, we explore new opportunities to further strengthen and expand our bilateral ties through increased economic partnerships. And for us, there is no better time than now for New Zealand to be part of the Philippines’ promising growth story and steady ascent to the global stage,” said Secretary Frederick D. Go.

“Against great odds, the Philippine economy shines the brightest in the fastest-growing region in the world. In 2023, our GDP expanded by 5.6% to record the highest growth in all of ASEAN. For 2024, the Economic Team projects GDP to grow even faster at 6.0 to 7.0 percent. This optimism is affirmed by multilateral organizations that expect the Philippines to remain a frontrunner among ASEAN countries despite external headwinds,” Secretary Go said.

PSAC and OSAPIEA remain committed to supporting and partnering with the broader government to foster an ecosystem conducive to substantial economic growth and development, ensuring that the Philippines not only meets but surpasses its economic aspirations.

About Private Sector Advisory Council

President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. established the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) strategically to create and strengthen innovative new synergies between the private and public sectors. The PSAC comprises business leaders and experts from six main sectoral groups: Agriculture, Digital Infrastructure, Jobs, Healthcare, Infrastructure, and Tourism.

The Council helps the government deliver on its commitment to transform the Philippine economy by implementing robust infrastructure programs, creating more jobs and attracting more investors, digitizing processes, and improving agricultural productivity through the recalibration of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), jumpstart Philippine Tourism and ensuring an equitable, sustainable, and inclusive business landscape for Filipinos.

PSAC will continuously recommend modern policy development to the government and report regularly to the President to provide feedback and adjust recommendations based on what is happening on the ground.

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