The Philippine Trade and Investment Center – Taipei (PTIC-Taipei) facilitated the high-level Taiwan Business Mission last May 16 to18, in partnership with TECO Electric Group’s Chairman Ted Huang, whose company is a major partner at the Subic Bay Development and Management Corp. (SBDMC). This trip was organized in view of Chairman Huang’s avid support to the Philippines and his long-standing personal and business relations with the delegates. Coming from Taiwan’s financial and real estate industries, some of the high-level Taiwanese businessmen who participated were Chairman Chao Teng-Hsiung of Farglory Group, Chairman George Liu of Fubon Land Corporation, and Chairman Liu Chao-Kai of TECO Motors Group. They were also joined by their officers from their different subsidiary companies.

hl1 The Taiwanese business delegation with Finance Undersecretary Cesar V. Purisima (center) at Malacanang Palace grounds.

The business mission was set to introduce and show to the delegation the different business opportunities available in the Philippines in line with their industries. They made a courtesy call to Malacan Palace and were welcomed by Department of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who conveyed to the group that this is an opportune time to take a closer look at the Philippines. He invited them to strongly consider expanding in the country as he pointed out some of the key strengths of the Philippines such as being regarded as one of the best performing economies in Asia, rated as investment grade by the top credit ratings agencies, and its close proximity to Taiwan.

One of the highlights was Chairman Huang’s proposal of developing a Software Park in Subic or Clark, which will cover an initial land area of 15 hectares and will eventually employ around 21,000 workers. The group toured the Subic and Clark Ecozones and was given a briefing by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority on BCDA-Freeports and Ecozones. Chairman Huang is keen in inviting the group to co-invest with him and to diversify their companies’ presence in the ASEAN region by setting up new projects in the Philippines.

The group was also given a guided tour of the Bonifacio Global City, for their interests on real estate in the central business district. The Farglory Group, Taiwan’s biggest property developer and construction company, is looking into tapping the Philippine real estate market for commercial and residential developments.

hl2 (L-R, Back) Mr. Engar Sia, Mr. Alfred Yao, Mr. CK Liu, Mr. Tomas Alcantara, Mr. George Liu, Mr. Chao Teng-Hsiung, Mr. Michael Fei, DTI USec. Ponciano Manalo Jr., Mr. Alfonso Siy, Mr. Benedict Uy, Mr. Robin Hong, Mr. Jeff Lin, and Mr. Omar Lien. (L-R, Seated) Ms. Tessie Sy-Coson, PEZA DG Lilia De Lima, Mr. Lucio Tan, Mr. Antonio Basilio, Mr. Ted Huang.

A networking dinner capped the delegation’s visit which was hosted by the Philippine Department of Trade Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo, Jr. This gave the Taiwanese businessmen the opportunity to meet and mingle with their Philippine counterparts who are in the same industries. Among the guests in the Philippines side were Director General Lilia de Lima of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), Chairman Lucio Tan of LT Group Inc., Teresita Sy-Coson of SM Prime Holdings, Alfredo Yao of Zest-O Corporation , Alfonso Siy of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries (PCCI), Edgar “Injap” Sia of Double Dragon Properties, and Tomas Alcantara of Alsons Consolidated Group. Upon their return to Taiwan, they relayed through PTIC-Taipei that they are now very keen on the prospects in the Philippines. Based on what they have seen and experienced during the trip, they now have a better understanding and appreciation of the country’s current economic developments and opportunities.