MANILA — More Chinese companies are keen on investing in the Philippines, encouraged by its robust economic growth and huge market.
“We received a lot of (business) delegations that are inquiring about all (sectors) especially in the tourism, infrastructure, chemicals, fruits and so many,” bared Angel Ngu, honorary president of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc.
Ngu noted several Chinese firms are interested in the Philippines with the normalization of relations of the two countries following the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to China last October 2016.
“A lot not only tourists, but at the same time businessmen (engaged in) manufacturing and also some of the big companies are coming to the Philippines,” he said Thursday during the China-Philippines dialogue.
Ngu particularly cited the Philippine construction and real estate sector where China intends to participate.
“I can say on this year, we have an increase of around 15 percent. We foresee that it will increase maybe by next year to 30 percent so everybody in our line was upgrading our own facilities not only in quality but also in quantity,” he said.
Aside from China, Ngu said there is also a good prospect for the foreign investments from other Southeast Asian countries to pour into the Philippines.
“I have some inquiry from Malaysia and Singapore, even Taiwan. They are coming because the Philippines is a huge market. They say, we have a hundred million population,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ngu underscored the need for the Philippines to facilitate the entry of more investments which can boost the economy and provide job opportunities.
“So I think the Congress should help also in opening the door for the foreign investments to come in…We have to open up some of the areas that we cannot (participate) especially in infrastructure business,” he said.
Ngu was referring to the 60-40 percent constitutional foreign-ownership provision wherein at least 60 percent of a company located in the Philippines must be owned by Filipinos and that foreign ownership should be limited to 40 percent.
But Jose Luis Yulo Jr., president of Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands, believes that foreign investments do not come to the country because of the 60-40 percent rule.
“Not because of we don’t own land. They (investors) cannot own land in Thailand, they cannot own land in Japan, they cannot own land in China. So that’s not the issue,” he said.
“The issue is peace and security. The issue is (that) our contract is respected by our judiciary,” he added.