Top-ranking Taiwanese executives with extensive business and manufacturing operations in the Philippines expressed their strong confidence in continuing to choose and “Make It Happen” in the Philippines to further grow their businesses during the recently-concluded (15 April 2021) Philippine Investment Forum in Taipei.
Co-organized by the Philippine Trade & Investment Center (PTIC) in Taipei and the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), the investment forum is a platform to promote and engage more Taiwanese investors and locators to confidently funnel their investments to the Philippines. Top Taiwanese executives, decision-makers, and business leaders that are seriously looking to expand their business operations participated in the investment forum. The forum was highlighted by a discussion by Philippine government officials on the key features of the recently-enacted Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act, a hallmark in Philippine legislation which lowers the country’s corporate income tax (CIT) rate and modernizes the country’s investment incentives that are competitive, transparent, time-bound, targeted, and performance-based.
During the forum, top Taiwanese businessmen came out in full force to provide their testimonial keynotes on their positive experiences and how choosing the Philippines contributed to their respective corporate bottom lines and leading positions in their markets.
James Wang, CEO of SERCOMM, a global leader in the manufacture of telecommunications and broadband equipment, shared how they were able to scale their operations from just a little over a year ago. SERCOMM currently employs more than 2,000 Filipinos in the country and has a leading market share for their product segments in the US market. “We are very proud to have achieved the production milestone in such a short time, especially during this unprecedented time. SERCOMM Philippines has become a crucial portion of Sercomm’s global operations. We plan to continuously expand our operations to support future business growth in the local and global markets,” said Wang.
Chairman Patrick Chiu of Hocheng Philippines Corporation (HCG) which has been operating a major manufacturing hub in the Philippines for over 25 years since 1995, meanwhile shared that the company has steadily grown its business in the Philippines enjoying a 55% current market share. HCG now enjoys the distinction as the No. 1 total bathroom solutions provider in the Philippines. Chairman Chiu, in his testimonial keynote, shared his company’s experiences and successes in the Philippine market and how they are quickly able to address challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Kevan Tsai, Director of TEEMA’s New Southbound Project Team and serves in the newly formed and very important New Southbound-Taiwan ICT Links Committee, likewise conversed why TEEMA has chosen the Philippines as among the top countries for Taiwanese electronics and semiconductors companies to consider in their regional expansion plans.
During the forum, Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo discussed the key features of the CREATE Law and how Taiwanese companies can take full advantage of the landmark legislation. “The new law provides the government with flexibility to grant fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for high-value strategic investments including the longer period for enjoying income tax holiday (ITH) and tax subsidies for key cost items,” Undersecretary Rodolfo said.
The CREATE Act lowers the current corporate income tax rate from 30% to 25% for large corporations and 20% for small businesses. The law effectively overhauls and updates the tax and fiscal incentives and will be granted on a strategic, targeted performance-based, and time-bound basis. “The new law is expected to make the Philippines a highly viable and more competitive choice for companies that are exploring for their next investment destination and manufacturing hub in Southeast Asia,” Undersecretary Rodolfo said.
“We expect more manufacturing companies to follow suit, especially with the positive experiences and successes of established Taiwanese companies successfully operating in the Philippines,” said Undersecretary Rodolfo, noting that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte also certified as urgent, three major bills that are seen to further improve the business climate and make the Philippines a more attractive business destination namely: amendments to the Public Service Act, the Foreign Investments Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act. Undersecretary Rodolfo also mentioned that the President recently issued an Executive Order lifting the ban on new mining agreements.
The forum’s other resource keynote speakers provided highly valuable insights for the Taiwanese business leaders and entrepreneurs considering the Philippines for their plans.
Philippine BOI Executive Director for Industry Development Services Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa discussed why the Philippines is Taiwan’s next Research & Development and manufacturing partner in Asia during the investment forum. She also discussed the numerous advantages of establishing operations in the Philippines such as unrivaled access to market regional markets, free trade agreements (FTAs), Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Privileges, and the country’s world-class, globally sought-after human resource.
Jonathan Ravelas, the Chief Market Strategist and First Vice President of BDO, the Philippines’ largest universal bank, provided an in-depth economic overview and market outlook on the Philippines. Aside from the government’s infrastructure program, he considers as factors that will further boost economic recovery the additional spending on health and education and the election spending ahead of the 2022 polls, in addition to recent legislation meant to address recovery from the pandemic.
Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Chairman and Resident Representative Angelito Banayo in his welcome remarks and opening keynote meanwhile commended Taiwan’s economic performance. “Noteworthy and commendable, however, in Taiwan, with its laudable handling of the ongoing health crisis, thus managing to overcome the challenges and even growing their economy by 3.11%. With experts projecting Taiwan’s economic growth at 4.64% this year, I believe greater cooperation and partnership with Taiwan’s businesses would be a good platform to launch a comeback as the pandemic hopefully subsides.”
“We look forward to sharing golden opportunities with the Taiwanese business community, particularly in the fields of manufacturing, infrastructure investments, and information communications technology. Choose the Philippines! Make it happen in the Philippines!” he concluded.
Stay updated with news and information from the Department of Trade and Industry by visiting their website at dti.gov.ph.