NEDA chief pushes for rules-based investment regime

By , on November 26, 2017

FILE PHOTO/ National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Ernesto Pernia (PNA Photo)
FILE: National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Ernesto Pernia (PNA Photo)

MANILA — The country’s chief economist is pushing for the establishment of rules-based investment regime and environment conducive to developing the digital economy to ensure robust economic growth benefits most Filipinos even amid technological change.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ernesto Pernia noted that while technology offers promising opportunities, jobs are threatened in emerging and developing countries where access to technology is unequal.

Pernia, during the 13th World Islamic Economic Forum in Sarawak, Malaysia this week, thus highlighted the need for the country to ensure growth, equitability and cooperation in an economic system.

He said creating a rules-based investment regime can firm up long-run expectations.

“This means that the investment regime of any economy must be credible, must have extensive international support, and must aim at sustainability and inclusiveness. This can help reduce uncertainty and improve the stability of investment relations,” he said.

The NEDA chief said the country should also create an enabling policy environment for developing the digital economy.

Pernia identified opportunities offered by digital economy, including new foreign markets, e-value chain integration, boosting competitiveness and improving government services.

“However, the digital economy is also vulnerable to regulatory issues such as data security, intellectual property protection, consumer protection and safeguarding cultural values. Thus, investment promotion agencies, or IPAs (investment promotion agencies), should be more involved in the formulation of digital development strategies,” he said.

Pernia said it is also imperative for the country to sustain financial inclusion initiatives which are key ingredients in achieving an inclusive economy.

“Access to basic financial services like savings, payments, credit and investments can help individuals and families build financial and material assets,” he said.

The NEDA chief likewise called on the need to strengthen global cooperation.

“Any action undertaken by any individual economy can be more effective if supported by multilateral cooperation,” he added.