Moscow, Russia—President Rodrigo Roa Duterte asked Russian investors on Friday to put their money in the Philippines, assuring them of profit and protection if they start operation in the country.
Speaking before Russian investors who joined the Philippines-Russia Business Forum at the House of the Unions here, President Duterte told Russian companies to invest in the Philippines especially in the administration’s Build, Build, Build Program.
“I invite you to participate in the massive Build, Build, Build infrastructure program especially in transport and railway construction where Russia has high expertise,” he told Russian businesses.
“Let me assure you that your investments are assured of gains and protection in my country.”
The administration is inviting Russian investors to come to the Philippines after Russian businesses showed strong trust and confidence in the current government with record-breaking investments, the President said.
The Philippines has advantages over other investment destinations. According to President Duterte, the country offers competitive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to jumpstart qualified investment projects from infancy to maturity of business operations.
The government also grants income tax holiday that exempts companies from paying 30 percent corporate earning tax from four to six years from the start of commercial operation.
Additional bonus for three years subject to set conditions such as export earnings, labor generation, and the use of indigenous materials are also being extended by the government.
Also, foreign investors can avail of tax and duty-free importation of capital equipment as well as importation of raw materials and supplies use in the exports. In addition, there is value added tax (VAT) refund for the use of locally purchased raw materials and exports.
Employed foreign nationals can also be given special non-immigrant working visa by the government.
The Philippines’ robust economy has been attracting investors each year. Its growth rate remains steady and strengthening, the President said, noting positive national or annual GDP growth rate for 82 consecutive quarters.
“We are one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and the second fastest in the ASEAN. Our economic advantage lies on the strength of our young workforce — population. Our macroeconomic fundamentals remain strong,” he stressed.
On the Philippine-Russian economic relations, the President said Russia is the country’s priority trade and investment market.
Last year, total trade between the two countries reached $1.36 billion, posting more than double growth in 2017 at $568 million. Philippine export to Russia also reached $86 million last year and increased from almost $70 million in 2017.
This upward trajectory continues this year, indicating promising ties between the two economies at an even higher level, the President said.
Several cooperation agreements were also signed during Friday’s forum.
The agreements were:
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation on information exchange and collaboration on business development aimed at the promotion of trade and investment between the Philippines and Russia, members of Russia-ASEAN Business Council, and Philippine companies.
Memorandum of Intent on Exchange of information on investment environment and opportunities; attract and support foreign investments in both the Philippines and Russia; encourage interested local companies in setting up or expanding their businesses; and organize business missions, workshops, other bilateral investments promotion activities.
Memorandum of Intent on intention to jointly explore the prospects of cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants in the Philippines.
Memorandum of Understanding for Century Pacific Food Inc. to supply tuna and sardine products to Magnit Food Retail Chain to serve the Russian market.
Memorandum of Understanding for Century Pacific Food Inc. to supply tuna and sardine products to Dalimo to serve the Russian market.
Memorandum of Understanding for Century Pacific Food, Inc. to supply tuna and sardine products to LLC Dalpromryba to serve the Russian market.
Memorandum of Understanding for Century Pacific Agricultural Ventures Inc. to supply coconut milk products to Panasia Impex Co. Ltd. to serve the Russian market.
Distributorship Agreement appointing Lifetruck International Incorporated as the exclusive sole distributor for the distribution, promotion, and sale of Sturmanskie watches in the Philippines.
Distributorship Agreement for the appointment of Lifetruck International Incorporated as the exclusive sole distributor for the distribution, promotion, and sale of Kamaz vehicles in the Philippines.
Memorandum of Agreement for the promotion, distribution, and selling of IPP-NLS technologies, particularly Metatron Micro MRI Systems and its variations in the Philippines.
Accompanying the President were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, and other members of the Cabinet. Also present were Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, and Philippine Ambassador to the Russian Federation Carlos Sorreta.