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Australian investors want ‘certainty, consistency’ in policies, envoy says

MANILA – Australian businessmen do not mind the rationalization of incentives under the government’s tax reform package as long as there is “certainty” and consistency in policies, an envoy said Wednesday.

Some foreign investors have expressed concern over the effect of the second package of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law that aims to lower corporate income tax rates to 25 percent from 30 percent and to rationalize fiscal incentives. 

The key thing is passing the measure so that investors can decide how to act on it, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson told Cathy Yang in an exclusive interview for ANC’s The Boss.

“They want certainty, they want consistency, they want clarity. So it doesn’t really matter so much what the decision is in terms of what TRAIN 2 delivers. What they like to see is that it is delivered such that they can make decisions on how they respond to that,” Robinson said in his first one-on-one interview after arriving here in January.

“They’re not disconcerted by the current situation they see opportunity and promise…at the end of the day the fundamentals are what drives them and none of them is contemplating doing anything else but stay,” he added.

Currently, there are 300 Australian firms in the country, Robinson said, adding that he planned to encourage more to invest here.

Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson speaks to Cathy Yang for ANC’s The Boss

He said the only problem for businesses here is that they can’t expand fast enough due to overwhelming opportunities.

“We cant expand fast enough because the opportunities are so great that we’re just being inundated with work with what people want us to do and how we can expand. For an Ambassador in the country who is promoting business, hearing that is just absolutely music to my ears,” he said. 

“That’s a wonderful situation to be in. They’ve got so much work, so much opportunity that they can’t deal with it so that’s very, very promising indeed and the future is really bright,” he added.

Robinson also encouraged Filipino businessmen to invest in Australia’s science and technology innovations especially in renewable energy.

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