Green lanes for strategic investments launched

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Green lanes for strategic investments launched
Photo from the Presidential Communications Office.
  • President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. led the launch of green lanes created under Executive Order No. 18
  • The green lanes in government offices are expected to reduce investment barriers and significantly enhance foreign direct investments in the Philippines
  • EO 18 designates the Board of Investments’ One-Stop Action Center as a single point of entry to ensure efficiency and ease of doing business in the country

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. launched green lanes for strategic investments to fast-track the processing of investment proposals.

Marcos witnessed the covenant signing of Executive Order No. 18, which creates the green lanes, noting that they will significantly enhance foreign direct investments (FDI) in the Philippines. The EO was signed by Marcos on February 23, 2023 in line with efforts to enhance ease of doing business in the Philippines.

Strategic investments include projects of national significance identified by the Department of Trade and Industry, highly desirable projects endorsed by the Fiscal Incentives Review Board, foreign direct investments endorsed by the Inter-Agency Investment Promotion Coordination Committee, and priority projects under the Strategic Investment Priority Plan.

“I am confident that the green lanes will pave the way for the realization of many pledges that we have had – including those that I have personally received whilst abroad – ensuring that they will bear fruit for our people and our nation,” Marcos said during the event at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza. With him during the launch was Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual.

Marcos emphasized the importance of strengthening market competition and reducing barriers to investment. “We gave this a particular priority because, upon listening to our prospective investors, this was one of the areas where they felt we could do better and would improve the investment climate in the Philippines, and that is why we have now undertaken this measure under EO 18,” the President said.

EO 18 is part of the Marcos administration’s eight-point agenda that mandates all government offices, including the local government units (LGUs), to expedite the processes involved in issuing permits, licenses, and certifications required to implement investments.

The order also designates the Board of Investments’ (BOI) One-Stop Action Center as a single point of entry to further ensure efficiency and ease of doing business in the country.

“It is, indeed, long overdue to have reforms that will not only attract more investments into the country, but will also create an environment conducive to business growth and development,” Marcos said.

He noted that requirements for potential investors in the Philippines “put our systems in the shade,” with some permits taking 36 months to complete. This compares with only three days to two weeks in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

“The establishment of a foreign firm in our place, we have reduced it now from 80 days to 20 plus days. Still, we have ways to go,” Marcos said.

The President also highlighted the introduction of e-Invest, an online platform that expedites the submission and processing of investment applications. This platform grants provisional permits to operate (PPOs), allowing investors to start operations while awaiting full approval of their applications.

Pascual, who also chairs BOI and the Inter-agency Investment Promotion Coordination Committee (IIPCC), said EO 18 complements the government’s efforts to sustain the country’s strong economic growth by attracting more strategic investments and ensuring faster realization of their objectives.

“The green lanes that we have set up will address the barriers across multiple regulatory agencies that hamper the entry and delay the realization of foreign direct investments,” Pascual said.

“By further easing and fast-tracking the processes for doing business in the Philippines, we will raise the competitiveness of the country in attracting strategic investments by global enterprises.”

Pascual disclosed during the launch that SunAsia Energy is the first investor with a certificate of endorsement for green lanes. SunAsia Energy and BlueLeaf Macquarie Capital will set up floating solar panels on Laguna Lake to produce 1.3 gigawatts of power with a total investment of $1.2 billion.

The Department of Trade and Industry earlier said that around US$88 million of investment pledges gleaned from the President’s foreign trips are expected to materialize this year, generating direct employment for 17,800 people.

This is out of the P3.5 trillion worth of investment leads from various countries that include Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, China, Thailand, the US and Europe.

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