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A total of 11 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) have been signed between Philippine companies and top-level Indonesian businesses that would boost trade and economic ties between the two countries during the recent Philippines-Indonesia Business Networking session held on 30 April in Davao City, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced.

With the new Davao/General Santos-Bitung ASEAN RORO (roll on, roll off) route, prospects of increasing trade activities in the region and heightened collaboration between Philippine and Indonesian businessmen, are being eyed as both countries’ businesses signed MOUs covering the sectors of water and wastewater infrastructure facilities, retail trade and distribution, real estate and construction, manufacturing of OEM products for a pharmaceutical company, and development of various facilities which include the establishment of a media city to develop media content for Indonesia and the rest of ASEAN, establishment of a sports city or complex for general use, and the establishment of technology corridors to enhance bilateral technology transfers.

Among the companies which signed the MOUs were Manila Water, Inc., a subsidiary of Ayala Corporation that aims to expand its presence in Indonesia; SM Markets which is partnering with Alfamart in the expansion of over 400 stores in the Philippines; Century Properties; and Liwayway Marketing Corporation, among others.

Mr. Robert Kwee, president of Alfamart Group mentioned their bullish prospects in retail trade in the Philippines and would like to participate more in the country’s growing economy of over 100 million population. At present, the company has 252 outlets in the Philippines.

In addition to business-to-business MOUs, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce (PCCI) and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN) also renewed their commitment to promote cooperation and partnership by way of facilitating the exchange of missions or delegations in pursuing bilateral business and economic collaboration.

PCCI also signed a protocol of cooperation with the Philippine Business Club Indonesia (PBCI), an association representing the interests of Filipino entrepreneurs and professionals in Indonesia. PBCI’s cooperation with PCCI is aimed at strengthening and expanding trade and economic activities between firms or entrepreneurs of both parties.
Further to this, alongside the launching of the Davao/General Santos-Bitung ASEAN RoRo (roll-on/roll-off) shipping route on 30 April, DTI led by its Region XI office, in cooperation with the Davao Chamber of Commerce and the Indonesian Consulate in Davao, also organized the Philippines-Indonesia Business Networking Session to officially welcome the 40-member Indonesian business delegation.

DTI Region XI noted that the interests of the delegation are wide ranging from agribusiness, food manufacturing, property development and construction, distribution of consumer and health products to fishery and exports of wood furniture.

Among the leads and prospects generated from the networking session include exports of banana chips to Indonesia, supply of mobile hospitals to remote provinces in Indonesia, imports of teak wood and wood-based furniture from Indonesia, imports of clinker cement to Mindanao and a future joint venture on building a cement grinding plant in Davao, and possible investments in hotels and property development, hydropower, and bulk water supply services to Indonesian industrial estates.

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