Businessmen’s “wish list” for the next president

ANYONE who wins the May 9 presidential election should prioritize foreign policy, health care, property rights, rule of law and governance reforms, panelists at a forum on the investment.

When asked what the next president’s first agenda should be when he takes office on June 30, the chief economist of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC), Michael Ricafort, said he should improve foreign policy.

“The PSEi has been stagnating for five years at 7,000. It’s because of, we all know what happened five years ago – a shift in foreign policy away from the US and the EU (Union Europe) and to Russia and China,” he said. .

PSEi is the Philippine Stock Exchange Index.

Because foreign investors, pension funds, retirement funds and top fund managers are all from developed countries, Ricafort thinks it’s about strengthening the country’s foreign policy.

This would be hugely beneficial for the country’s foreign direct investment and speculative capital inflows, as well as the real estate sector, Ricafort said, especially now that the government has implemented reforms on foreign ownership limits.

“After the pandemic, there is [also] a need to further strengthen the country’s fiscal performance to make debt management more sustainable in the long term,” the RCBC economist noted.

RCBC Securities head of retail and online marketing Antonio Garcia agreed with Ricafort, but added that the next president should also focus on healthcare, given the threat of the pandemic. of Covid-19.

“I think the pandemic isn’t over yet, so that’s something that needs to be addressed,” he said.

For David Leechiu, Managing Director of Leechiu Property Consultants Inc., property rights and the rule of law go hand in hand.

“You fix property rights and enforce the rule of law [because] in the Philippines we have so many rules, but no one enforces them. So we fix those two things, and they go hand in hand. Everything will work out,” he said.

Meanwhile, Robert Ramos, the head of the RCBC Trust and Investments Group, stressed the need for improved governance to attract foreign investors to the Philippines.

“From governance, everything else emanates. I mean, how do we get foreigners or other people or other countries to invest with us?” He said: “We have to emphasize that we have a high level of governance.”

Ramos also said that the Philippines should demonstrate its ability to be very practical in terms of budget management and infrastructure investment, and if the government can do that, the country will be on the right track.

“I think whoever has the crown will have to make sure that [it] is communicated not just internally, but globally,” he said.

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