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'Invest Philippines' seminar woos local investors

Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director-General and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Lilia de Lima invited Taiwanese investors to visit and explore business opportunities at the Invest Philippines seminar held in Taipei yesterday.

Addressing key officers and representatives of Taiwan's different industries, de Lima cited the Philippines' strong and sustained economic performance as one of the reasons to consider investment.

According to de Lima, the 7.8-percent economic growth of the Philippines during the first quarter of the year outperformed other Southeast Asian nations, including China, which posted growth of 7.7 percent. This was mainly driven by strong domestic consumption, overseas remittances, a revitalized manufacturing sector and growth in investment, said de Lima.

PEZA, the agency attached to DTI, aims to reinforce government efforts to promote investments, extend assistance, register, grant incentives to and facilitate the business operations of investors in export-oriented manufacturing and service facilities inside selected areas in the Philippines known as PEZA Special Economic Zones.

There are currently 60 Taiwanese companies in PEZA economic zones, de Lima noted. She added that potential Taiwanese investors will certainly benefit from the country's rich supply of human resources and business-friendly policies.

De Lima gladly offered her office's services to the businesspeople present at the seminar and answered several questions with regard to investing in the Philippines during the session. “If you have not yet visited the Philippines, you have to go and see for yourself the many opportunities that await you,” said de Lima.

Taiwan-Philippines Relations 'Back on track'

Also present during the Invest Philippines seminar were Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Managing Director and resident representative Antonio Basilio and Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Deputy Director-General James Yang.

In his welcome remarks, Basilio underscored the Taiwan-Philippines relationship, saying that it is now back on track despite a shooting incident that killed a Taiwanese fisherman last May. He added that steps have been taken to address the issue and both sides have agreed to move forward, as seen in the tremendous outpouring of aid from Taiwan for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

MOEA Deputy Director-General Yang stated that it has certainly been a challenging year for both Taiwan and the Philippines. As neighbors, Yang said the two countries should work together to further improve ties and relations.

Yang also noted during the opening remarks that the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) has just recently opened its first trade office in Manila to tap the fastest growing economy in the region.

The Invest Philippines seminar is organized by the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), in cooperation with the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association (CIECA), Chinese National Association of Industry of Commerce Taiwan (CNAIC), CTBC Bank, and Metrobank Philippines.

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