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In 2000-2011, we attracted an average of $1.1 billion in net foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows per year, a pittance against Singapore’s $14.8 billion, Thailand’s $4.5 billion, Vietnam’s $3.9 billion, and Indonesia’s $2.3 billion. But last year, our net FDI inflows already amounted to $3.9 billion, nearly four times the earlier average annual figure. Impressive? Not quite, once you consider that our neighbors have already pulled away even farther. Last year, Indonesia attracted $18.4 billion; Vietnam got $8.9 billion, Thailand $13 billion, and Singapore $61 billion. In short, given our neighbors’ figures, and considering our faster economic growth, we should have drawn in even more FDI than we did. So why didn’t we?

Posted: September 23rd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Political will—or won’t

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As Ben Diokno pointed out, the level of government spending on infrastructure over the past four years has been appallingly low. Now there are some good reasons for this—none of the previous president’s projects could be trusted to be needed and honestly prepared. But also some bad reasons—an overindulgent bureaucratic system, some inept management, and, importantly, a lack of political will to just get things done.

Posted: June 19th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Still up in the air

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Let me quote a text message from a friend last Friday:

Posted: June 12th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

PH creating jobs for other countries

Economist Cielito Habito, in his column “Investment: our crying need” (Opinion, 2/17/14), says the low level of foreign investments in our country, compared to our neighbors, is the reason for the increasing joblessness.

Posted: March 6th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

The new war has started

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The issue of Charter change will hopefully come to the fore now that the election circus has left town. It promises to be as heated and vituperative an argument as we saw through the 14 years of discussions on the RH Law.

Posted: May 30th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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