In a move aimed at bolstering foreign direct investments (FDI), the Philippines officially launched its "green lanes" for significant strategic investments. The initiative, intended to attract capital inflow into the country, will streamline the process for obtaining necessary documents to establish businesses within the nation, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The establishment of a "green lane" system seeks to reduce bureaucratic hurdles and expedite the commencement of businesses. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., speaking at the launch of the measure, highlighted the creation of the Board of Investments One Stop Action Center as a single entry point for all projects qualifying as strategic investments.
Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual emphasized the significance of these green lanes in addressing barriers posed by various regulatory agencies that often hinder foreign direct investments. The unveiling event took place at the Sofitel hotel in Manila.
The "green lanes" encompass the One-Stop-Action-Center for Strategic Investments and an online platform, as outlined by the DTI. The establishment of these lanes was formalized through Executive Order No. 18, issued on February 23. This order applies to all government agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), and local government units (LGUs) involved in issuing permits, licenses, certifications, or authorizations for strategic investments.
The measure facilitates simultaneous application processing by National Government Agencies and LGUs, with an assumption that relevant documents from other agencies have already been issued. Strategic investments encompass projects recommended by the Fiscal Incentives Review Board to the Office of the President, foreign direct investments, and priority projects. The initiative also covers investment pledges presented to the President during his Presidential Visits.
SunAsia Energy's 1,300MW Floating Solar Project in Laguna Lake emerged as the inaugural strategic investment project under this framework.
The Philippines, compared to its Southeast Asian counterparts, has historically faced challenges in attracting foreign investments. The government's recent amendments to foreign investment laws reflect an effort to enhance the nation's appeal for capital infusion.