MANILA, 03 August 2017 – The Philippines-Singapore Business Council (PSBC), led by Chairman Guillermo Luchangco, welcomed the Singaporean business delegation, headed by Mr. Loh Chin Hua, Co-Chairman of the PSBC and Chairman of Keppel Corporation Limited.
The conference highlighted bilateral trade opportunities between the two countries and presented the current investment climate in the Philippines. Both Singapore and the Philippines are members of the ASEAN Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN), an economic bloc with a combined GDP of US$2.5 trillion. In this 10-member nation group, Singapore stands as the Philippines’ biggest trading partner with total trade value of US$9.3 billion in 2016, of which US$3.8 billion are Philippine exports. The country’s top export commodity to Singapore is electronic products, with a total exports value of US$3.3 billion.
Mr. Luchangco, during the conference press briefing, highlighted the investment potentials of Singapore companies to the Philippines. “We can seek partnership in key industries such as producing halal food and non-food products, investments in IT-BPM services, infrastructure, shipbuilding, tourism, and support of start-ups.” He added, “Singaporean investors can also look for expansion opportunities in new investment destinations especially in our ecozones and IT parks.”
Dr. Cielito Habito, Chief of Party of the Trade-Related Assistance for Development (TRADe) Project, outlined the Philippine experience in trade and investment; highlights of his presentation included how MSMEs can be drivers of inclusive growth, and key opportunities in the ASEAN for regional trade.
In addition, Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, along with Undersecretary Raul Asis (DPWH), Undersecretary Karen Singson (DOF), and Undersecretary Nora Terrado (DTI), discussed the updated Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022, the Duterte administration’s socio-economic agenda and fiscal position, and infrastructure development plans aimed at increasing Philippine competitiveness and promoting inclusive and sustainable growth.
The one-day PSBC event also provided a venue for the visiting delegation to explore partnership opportunities with Philippine companies with common business interests. After the conference Programme, over 38 companies participated in business matching sessions facilitated by the PSBC.
About the Philippines-Singapore Business Council
The Philippines-Singapore Business Council was launched in Singapore on October 1994 in the presence of then-Philippine President Fidel Ramos and then-Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong. The council’s objectives are to identify and develop areas of cooperation between both countries’ private sectors; to encourage and develop further investment in both the Philippines and Singapore; to encourage and develop trade links between both countries; to encourage joint exploration of business opportunities in third countries; to identify business opportunities, particularly at the level of small- and medium-sized enterprises; and to enhance networking, contacts, and exchange of information between the private sectors of both countries.