Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo, Jr. was recently in Singapore for an Infrastructure and Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) roadshow wherein he discussed the favorable investment climate of the Philippines and promoted opportunities in the country to Singapore-based British-affiliated companies. Recognizing Singapore as one of the country’s most vital trading partners and strategic markets, Undersecretary Manalo likewise held a series of meetings with key government organizations, chambers and potential investors which include the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce, British Chamber of Commerce Singapore, Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Singapore, Singapore Business Federation and the International Enterprise Singapore.
In 2013, Singapore ranked as the Philippines’ fifth largest export market. Among ASEAN member-countries, it is the biggest market of the Philippines. In the first half of 2014, total shipments to Singapore increased by 8.3 percent as compared to the same period of 2013. The January to May 2014 growth in exports was reflected in glass manufacture, arts/antiques, photography, coconut, beverages and oils/fats/waxes, construction materials, processed and fresh food. Also in the first half, it led all other countries as top investor, committing PhP12 billion or 16.4 percent of total foreign investment applications. Investment pledges from Singapore registered the highest increase, rising by more than eight folds from PhP 1.5 billion in the second quarter of 2013.
Undersecretary Manalo urged the key business groups to continue considering the Philippines as a major trading partner for goods and services. With the Philippines’ skilled labor at competitive costs, he asserted that the country can serve as a major provider for supporting the regional and global operations of Singapore companies, especially in the manufacturing sector.
Through the Philippine Trade & Investment Centre-Singapore, DTI helps facilitate the expansion of trade and investment by providing import facilitation services for Singapore and Singapore-based enterprises. Currently, the Philippines is promoting the following industries in Singapore: fresh and processed food, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service, electronics and electronics manufacturing services (EMS) and IT services.