The Philippines (PH) continues to be an investment destination for Singaporean companies as USD 185.7 million-worth of investment pledges providing 1,920 job opportunities were signed at the sidelines of the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit on 28 April 2018.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported that the investment pledges will cover collaborative works on aviation, solutions for sustainable urbanization, as well as development of marine renewable energy, packaging, film manufacturing, information, communications technology, financial technology, water solutions, prefabricated projects, food, and blockchain technology.
“With our robust bilateral trade and investments ties, we are confident that these new business agreements will even deepen our relationship further. These will push Philippine-Singapore trade engagement to even greater heights,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
“With these investments coming in, I am fulfilling a personal commitment to my countrymen to bring them more job opportunities. That’s why I am appreciative of your investment in the Philippines. I promise you that when you invest in the Philippines, we will ensure that your investments will be protected,” the President added.
The President witnessed the presentation of six Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and four Letters of Intent (LOI) signed between the PH business delegation—composed of Filinvest Development Corporation, Everhydro Corporation, Cebu Air, Inc., ICS ICT Support Service Corporation, Ascent Solutions Philippines Inc., and Jollibee Foods Corporation—and Singaporean companies, including Keppel Corporation, OceanPixel, SIA Engineering Company Limited, Hitachi Asia Ltd., Robin Village International Pte. Ltd., Ascent Solutions Pte. Ltd., and Golden Beeworks Pte. Ltd.
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez also signed an LOI with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Robert Yap, which involves a feasibility study on a suitable site for the implementation of a free online marketplace, SGConnect™ legacy project.
Sec. Lopez also signed an LOI with Lepack Packaging Pte. Ltd. Director Lim Seong Nam, which will explore opportunities to help and assist micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by developing innovative packaging.
In 2017, Singapore (SG) was PH’s 6th trading partner, 5th export market, and 7th import supplier with total bilateral trade valued at USD 9.34 billion. Exports of semiconductor devices manufactured on consignment basis also boosted PH export to SG by 1.16% in 2017.
Likewise, a significant growth of 378% (or Php 2.13 billion in 2017 from Php 444 million in 2016) approved investments from SG was noted in electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply industry.
Meanwhile, Secretary Lopez encouraged SG’s business community to join PH’s growth story by locating and expanding their businesses in the country.
“There are enormous opportunities for companies partnering with Philippines as the country is on its economic breakout,” said Sec. Lopez.
"The 6.7% GDP growth, increasing consumer base, and highly-skilled and young workforce complement the various reforms and infrastructure programs of the government, as well as new policies in enhancing business environment and competitiveness,” Sec. Lopez added.
The trade chief also highlighted PH’s preferential agreements and market access to Europe, the European Union and United States.
“We are a strategic partner as the Philippines is located at the crossroads of international shipping and airlines, and a natural gateway to the East Asian economies. With our preferential agreements to big economies, we can also provide access to the large US and EU markets,” Sec. Lopez concluded.