MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines remains an attractive investment destination among companies from Hong Kong and China despite ongoing territorial disputes.
“There’s tremendous interest in what’s going on in the Philippines. It is not only Hong Kong companies but also mainland Chinese companies that are in Hong Kong. I hope we’ll see more companies coming into the Philippines soon,” Invest Hong Kong Director General of Investment Promotion Simon Galpin told The STAR in an interview.
According to Galpin, more Hong Kong and Chinese firms are currently looking to see which part of their businesses is well suited to be in one of the region’s fastest growing economy.
“It took time for the Philippine economic story to get through but I think it now has not only among the mainland and Hong Kong business community but also the large international business community. The Philippines is definitely the economy people are watching,” he said.
“The fact that the Philippines has done so well in business process outsourcing is an indication. The Philippines is definitely a good news story,” Galpin added.
Investments from Hong Kong that have qualified for investment incentives from Philippine government are currently among the biggest in the country according to the Department of Trade and Industry.
Galpin said the number of Hong Kong and Chinese firms showing interest in investing in the Philippine market is not the only one increasing but Filipino companies looking to invest in Hong Kong as well.
“We’re starting to see an increase now and with a little bit more push, we can encourage more companies to take the next step,” he said.
Galpin cited technology, training and education, and consumer product sectors as potential growth areas in Hong Kong for local businesses.
“Hong Kong imports all its food products but we’re a major food market because we have so many visitors. So we’d like to think companies in food and beverage sector can benefit in Hong Kong too,” he said.
“At present, we’ve got the (Filipino) big guys. We’ve got the banks, airlines, some big companies using Hong Kong for mergers and acquisition. What I would love to see is the medium sized companies. Companies that are already doing well here but want to take the next step and do something overseas. We want them to consider Hong Kong as their next step. Medium companies, if they have a competitive product, a competitive service, we’d like to think they can do well in Hong Kong also,” Galpin added.
The Philippines last Thursday forged a new agreement with the Hong Kong government to bolster investment cooperation between the two economies.
The DTI signed a memorandum of intent with executives from InvestHK pledging mutual cooperation on investment promotion exchanges and best practices.
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