While the foreign business community praised the economic progress of the Philippines, they also believe that the gains are short term and the country still has a long way to go on the road to becoming a middle income economy.
The Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce (JFC) said in a statement following the conclusion of the Philippine Development Forum in Davao that if complacency does not set in the Philippines has all the potential to achieve its inclusive growth goals given the popularity of President Aquino and the economic progress of the country.
JFC is composed of six foreign chambers - US, Canada, Australian-New Zealand, Japan, Korea, EU and the association of multinational companies operating their regional headquarters in the country.
According to the foreign businessmen, the country still has to get its infrastructure projects going, remove some barriers to foreign investments and forge free trade agreements with EU and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The JFC said the Philippines has two windows of opportunities that should not be lost.
Externally, the Philippines has attracted increased attention and respect at a time when substantial segments of foreign manufacturing and other businesses are seeking to relocate or expand to new sites.
Internally, the JFC said that President Aquino enjoys high approval ratings and last year demonstrated strong political will to fight corruption, raise taxes, and …