On June 26, 2014, the Philippine Embassy in Beijing in partnership with China Overseas Investment Federation(COIF) held its third investment forum in 2014.
Her Excellency Madame Ambassador Erlinda Basilio Keynoted the Forum, First Secretary Frank Olea gave an overview of the Philippine Business Environment, Agriculture Counsellor identified opportunities in the agrisector and PTIC Beijing Christine dela Cruz presented investment opportunities in the non-agriculture sector.
In 2013, China ranked as the Philippines 3rd major trading partner, 3rd export market, and 2nd import supplier. Philippine statistics show that exports to China in December last year hit 746 million US dollars up on year by 79%. With this amount, the Chinese market landed as the third-biggest export destination for Philippine-made goods. Goods imported by the Philippines from China reached 671 million US dollars in November 2013 which is 14.6% higher in 2012 making China the Philippines’ biggest source of imports in the same period. Major items traded primarily come from semiconductor and electronics, and related sectors at varying degrees of value-added content.
During the forum, PTIC Beijing reiterated the Philippinescommitment to making full use of the opportunities offered by tariff-free regime resulting from the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement as a means to tap the burgeoning middle class and consumer-base in the region including China. It was noted that while most top Philippine exports now enter the Chinese market duty free as a result of the free trade area, the Philippines is also looking at other potential exports which can be supplied to China tariff-free under the China-ASEAN FTA. Most of these products are Agri-based.
With regard to investments, PTIC Beijing encouragedChinese participation and investment in the areas of agriculture, transport, tourism and processing and manufacturing. It was also noted that a number of Chinese enterprises have decided to locate their operations in the Philippines as they “go global” (showing PEZA-registered companies with Chinese equity) and have started to reap the benefits of being closer to the market either to mitigate foreign trade friction, and or to curb potential trade protectionism.
About 80 participants attended the said Forum to learn about business opportunities in agriculture and non-agriculture sectors in the Philippines.