More Chinese enterprises eye PH as hub for investments

(From left) CEPA Vice President Liu Wei, FTSC Assistant Secretary Glenn G. Peñaranda, BOI-IPS Executive Director Evariste M. Cagatan, DTI Undersecretary & BOI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo, Bank of China Country Head & CEPA President Hu Xinquan, DOE Assistant Secretary Mylene C. Capongcol, BOI-RBIS Director Raquel Echague, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. Vice Chairman Ting Zhou, BOI-IIPS Director Lanie O. Dormiendo, PPP Center Project Development Service Chief Kristina Azela B. Diza, and Sinomach Chief Representative & CEPA Secretary General Jane Lu

Chinese businesses see the Philippines as a prime spot for their investments.

This was the resounding sentiment of Chinese investors as the country welcomed members of the Chinese Enterprises Philippine Association (CEPA), who are wanting to leverage on the numerous investment prospects the country has to offer, during the Philippine Investment Opportunities Briefing for CEPA on June 15, 2023 at New World Makati Hotel.

Aligned with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Board of Investments (BOI) initiatives to encourage Chinese companies to expand and diversify their businesses in the country, the BOI together with CEPA,  in collaboration with Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) and Bank of China (BOC), organized an investment briefing for CEPA members, to provide valuable insights on the Philippines’ business environment, policies and government support, as well as present sectoral opportunities and value propositions for Chinese investors.

The conference also marked the continued collaborative efforts between BOI and BOC Manila, aligned with the renewed BOI-BOC MOU on Investment Promotion signed on January 4, 2023 in Beijing at the sidelines of the Presidential Visit to China earlier this year.

Led by CEPA President and Country Head of Bank of China in the Philippines Hu Xinquan, the delegation comprised of more than 70 Chinese businessmen who are into engineering and construction, finance, trade, telecom, energy, agriculture, and manufacturing industries. Minister Counsellor Yang Guoliang of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Philippines also graced the event.

Mr. Hu Xinquan hailed the partnership between DTI-BOI and the Bank of China.

“After the State Visit in China, more Chinese enterprises are even more eager to accelerate their business in the Philippines. BOI, DTI and the Bank of China will be able to help CEPA members to grow their investments in the Philippines.” Mr. Xinquan remarked.

Minister Counsellor Yang Guoliang affirmed the strong partnership of the Philippines and China in his opening message, “China has been the Philippine’s largest trade partner and export market. The ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is by far the world’s largest foreign trade agreement, signifies a stronger economic tie between the Philippines and China. It is my firm belief that RCEP will facilitate the creation of more jobs and promote faster economic recovery.”

Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo emphasized the robust opportunities in the renewable energy (RE) sector in the Philippines.

“We are not blessed with fossil fuel but we have an abundance of green metals. We are currently the no. 1 exporter of nickel direct shipping ore in the world, with 22 producing nickel mines in 2021. This opens up opportunities for mineral processing and battery manufacturing, in support of the electronic vehicle global supply chain. We are actively trying to attract Chinese companies to look at the country and help us further process our nickel, as well as further add economic value to the resources that we have in the Philippines,” the BOI Official said in his keynote address.

Undersecretary Rodolfo revealed that a Chinese manufacturing company, renowned for its services in the RE sector, intends to broaden its operations by establishing a new facility in the Philippines.

This expansion is aimed at meeting the increasing demands in both the Chinese and Philippine markets.

Currently, the company boasts seven well-established facilities in China.

The event was supported by informative presentations from Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary Mylene Capongcol, BOI Director Raquel Echague and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center Project Development Service Chief Kristina Azela Diza, demonstrating the government’s dedication to promoting economic development and creating an environment favorable to foreign enterprises.

This further strengthened the Philippines’ appeal to Chinese companies, seeing that their business objectives fit suitably with investment opportunities in the country.

FTSC Assistant Secretary Glenn Peñaranda wrapped up the program by conveying the assurance of support from the Philippine Embassies, Consulates, and Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTICs) in China, in forwarding trade and investment relations with Chinese enterprises.

The Philippines and China’s relationship is further strengthened with the implementation of the RCEP by creating a more conducive business environment that encourages increased trade and investment flows between the two countries. Moreover, China consistently ranks among the Philippines’ top sources of investment.

In 2022, China’s investment pledges reached approximately USD25 million (PHP1.43billion), making it the country’s 9th largest source of investments.