PHL among top nations for foreign investments
A second study by Standard Chartered Plc revealed that European and American companies ranked the Philippines among the top 5 Southeast Asian countries for opportunities to establish or expand their sourcing, selling or operations over the next six months to 12 months.
“With regulations noted as the number one concern amongst respondents looking to expand overseas, it could suggest an opportunity for Philippines to increase foreign investment through greater awareness of the ease of doing business locally,” the financial intermediary said.
Asia remains a major growth region (with over 85 percent operating and implementing in Asia or considering it for business activities). Africa and the Middle East also saw marginal increase (up 4 percent) as potential growth markets over the next six to twelve months. Despite the ambition to expand internationally, understanding the regulatory requirements in overseas markets remains the greatest obstacle (35 percent) for companies who are looking to expand or strengthen their international operations. This is followed by the need to build relationships with suppliers and adapt supply chain logistics (21 percent).
As companies look ahead into a post pandemic environment, the respondents’ top three priorities have indicated slight shifts away from issues including supply chain failure (down 2 percent to 50 percent) and the need for liquidity (down 2 percent to 47 percent) to an increase in investing in digitisation to mobilise liquidity (up 4 percent to 66 percent) and environmental, social and governance, or ESG, (up 5 percent to 23 percent).
The bank said the second study on the international growth strategies and challenges that chief financial officers (CFOs) and Treasurers in the US, the UK, Germany and France face indicate that, despite uncertainty caused by the global pandemic and its associated economic repercussions, overseas markets remain key to growth.
The study also revealed incremental emphasis towards investing in digital technology, unlocking trapped cash and increased focus on ESG issues in relation to trade and supply chains.
Since the first study six months ago, respondents have indicated increased business confidence in growth across borders, where 42 percent (up from 37 percent) of companies see the best growth opportunities outside of their home markets.
“It is apparent that businesses are beginning to pay greater attention to overseas growth and investing for the future,” Torry Berntsen, Standard Chartered CEO of Europe and Americas, said. “Sustainability, digitization and the need to understand regulation are not just key to how business will be conducted, they are also opportunities for companies to increase operational efficiency, grow internationally and stay ahead of the competition.”