The Strengthening Urban Resilience for Growth with Equity (SURGE) Project works to strengthen local business development, and facilitate investment and support services that foster low emission growth. Part of this is developing a business enabling environment in the cities of Batangas, Puerto Princesa, Iloilo, Tagbilaran, Cagayan De Oro and Zamboanga.
This report focuses on the assessment of the Business Enabling Environment (BEE) in these cities considering the factors that promote or constrain the flow of investments. These include regulatory framework and barriers to trade and access to finance, among others. Using a financial sector lens, the assessment provides an evaluation of the local investment promotion office, determines where assistance is needed, and recommends niche technical assistance.
A BEE diagnostic tool was used in the assessment. The tool aims to provide an independent and objective assessment of the BEE in the cities in the following dimensions: quality of regulatory environment, institutional capacity and performance of local government unit (LGU), quality of investment climate, and effectiveness of public-private dialogue. The assessment was done using key informant interviews, focus group discussions, enterprise survey and secondary research.
Based on the assessment, some of the BEE strengths identified in the cities are: (1) a strong executive legislative coordination; (2) updated, relevant and holistic vision; (3) convergence program with the national government on infrastructure projects; and (4) having a private sector supportive of efforts to attract/ retain investors.