Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the Philippines wants to expand development cooperation with long-time ally the United States as economic growth is poised to accelerate further in the coming years.
Dominguez said in a speech before American businessmen at the New York leg of the Philippine Economic Briefing the cooperation agreements between the two countries perfectly complemented the strategy for rapid and inclusive growth espoused by the Philippine government.
“We are looking to both expand and deepen our development cooperation as our economy emerges more rapidly in the following years,” he said at Morgan Stanley Auditorium.
“Our people fully appreciate the cooperation between our two countries. As the polls show, the US remains the country Filipinos trust most. We are happy to welcome American investments that will assist us in providing quality jobs for our people,” Dominguez said.
He said that over the years, the US supported the Philippines “not only in helping us build a credible defense capability but, more significantly, in helping us build more effective institutions of governance.”
The finance chief also cited the “accumulated numerous collaborative agreements” between the Philippines and the US, “the most prominent” of which were the “Mutual Defense Treaty that is the basis for regular inter-operability exercises between the armed forces of our two countries,” along with accords “for sharing of information in our common effort to combat terrorism and transnational crime.”
Dominguez said the Philippines expected greater foreign direct investment inflows in the years ahead as the Duterte administration stepped up efforts to modernize infrastructure and reform business policies meant to sustain the growth momentum, create more jobs, attack poverty and achieve a more inclusive economy
He said the US was most generous in providing official development assistance in support of the Philippines’ priority programs like education, health, energy and environmental protection.
Dominguez said the US also supported the government with projects to help the Philippines meet its Millennium Challenge targets and provided financial assistance for the rehabilitation of Marawi City following the attack in May by terrorists aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
He also thanked the American business community based in the Philippines for its support for the Duterte administration’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, which is designed to ensure a steady revenue flow for the government’s massive investments in infrastructure and social services.