As Southeast Asian nations woo companies moving away from China amid the trade war, the Philippines risks turning away investment by trimming tax incentives, a key government investment promoter said.
“Instead of enhancing our incentives to take advantage of opportunities, we are making things complicated,” Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Charito Plaza said at a briefing in Manila alongside heads of industry groups and foreign chambers.
During a trade fair in Xiamen, China earlier this week, Plaza met with executives of
20 companies who said that they’re “afraid to put in their capital because of uncertainties” over the proposed legislation.
The bill, backed by President Rodrigo Duterte and his economic team, will cut back incentives just as Thailand and Indonesia are reducing taxes to court more investment.
Economic zone developers have put expansion plans on hold, fearing vacancies as firms intending to enter the Philippines look elsewhere, industry group president Francisco Zaldarriaga said at same briefing.