The Philippines seeks to deepen cooperation in construction and infrastructure with China during the Philippine Construction and Infrastructure Opportunities Investment Forum (PCIOIF) on 9 September 2021 held on the second day of the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) 2021 in Xiamen, China.
The on-site Philippine delegation led by Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana and Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Beijing Senior Trade Representative Glenn Peñaranda emphasized the country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals and invited the Chinese business community to explore possibilities for collaboration under China’s Belt & Road Initiative and the Build Build Build infrastructure program.
The local government of Fujian, a vital partner province of the Philippines, will continue to work closely with the country, said Mr. Chen Ansheng, Deputy Director-General of Department of Commerce of Fujian Province.
During the keynote speech, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ireneo V. Vizmonte, who also sits as the alternate chairman of the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines, reiterated the strong desire of the Philippines to partner with China on construction projects, whether foreign-funded or internationally bided local projects.
Construction is one of the strongest growth engines of the Philippine economy. Pre-pandemic, the sector grew at an annual average of 10.3% from 2015-2019. It is also the highest per unit investment generator of direct and indirect employment, producing close to 4,000 jobs per P1-B investment, with deep backward linkages as the key client to over 60 industry sectors, such as non-metallic mineral products and the manufacture of iron, steel, rubber and plastics.
“With government-initiated policy reforms creating a climate conducive for business and investments and supporting the construction industry and as we continue to fill our public and private infrastructure gaps, we invite you to likewise consider investing in the manufacture of construction materials, equipments, and implements. Producing in the Philippines will also entitle your company to enjoy our preferential trading arrangements with various economies, especially the US and European Union,” said Undersecretary Vizmonte.
Since the 1970s, the Philippines has exported technical and managerial expertise for construction and related engineering projects, said Isidro Consunji, chairman of the Philippine Overseas Construction Board. “[A] Filipino construction service supplier is your best partner for construction projects, especially in third-country markets,” he added.
Key officials from government agencies and private sectors led deeper discussions on investment opportunities in Philippine construction and infrastructure. Engineer John Amiel Fernandez, who spoke on behalf of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Undersecretary Catalina E. Cabral, shared updates on ongoing projects under the Build Build Build infrastructure program. Meanwhile, Zamboanga mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar identified agriculture, tourism, investment, trade and commerce, industry, infrastructure and transportation as major sectors that may be of interest to Chinese investors.
From the Chinese side, Yan Lijin, Vice President of China Urban Infrastructure Chamber of Commerce and Yan Shijia, Vice President of Chinese Association of Construction Enterprises presented Chinese-Philippine partnerships in the construction sector.
Several Chinese companies also shared positive experiences in doing business in the Philippines, namely: Deng Jun, Country Head of Bank of China in the Philippines and Liu Wei, General Manager of China State Construction Philippine Branch.
“We look forward to seeing the collaboration between Philippines and China thrive as we continue to cooperate on other joint opportunities in the construction and related engineering services as we ensure economic recovery form the negative impacts of the pandemic,” Assistant Secretary of Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines, Noel Patrick Prudente said during the closing remarks.
The Philippine participation to CIFIT 2021 featured five Gold Exhibitors sponsors Aboitiz InfraCapital; BDO Unibank, Inc.; SM Investment Corporation; San Miguel Corporation, and Science Park of the Philippines, Inc. The five Silver Exhibitors were PLDT; Federation of Filipino – Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. in partnership with Philippine Xiamen Amity Association; Damosa Land; Clark Development Corporation, and Renyi Holdings Group.
The Philippines is working with its strategic partner, Bank of China, in bringing awareness about the investment and trade projects in the Philippines to the Chinese market. Bank of China has a full commercial banking license in the Philippines and has been in operations in the country since 2002. The Manila Branch’s mission is to be the bridge between Chinese and Philippine trade and investments through corporate banking, personal banking, and financial markets services while facilitating Chinese investments in key sectors of the fast-growing Philippine economy.
Learn more about the Philippine participation to CIFIT 2021 by visiting their microsite. You may also get in touch with the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers in China or the Board of Investments in the Philippines to learn more about CIFIT 2021.
Stay updated with news and information from the Department of Trade and Industry by visiting their website at https://www.dti.gov.ph.