Sri Lanka explores trade and investment opportunities in PH
Published: 08 December 2016
Sri Lanka business executives are exploring trade and investment opportunities in the Philippines after the Sri Lanka-Philippine Business Council in Colombo recently organized a high-level CEO Breakfast Forum with a theme dubbed as “Business in Asia and Beyond” at the Galidari Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka in a recent report of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Trade and Investment Center – New Delhi.
Participated in by over 130 CEOs and top Sri Lanka business figures, the breakfast meeting discussed and focused on the Philippines as an attractive trade and investment destination and explored high potential opportunities between the two countries for business cooperation, according to PTIC-New Delhi Commercial Counsellor Michael Alfred V. Ignacio.
The panel of speakers was composed of Sri Lanka Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Philippine Commercial Counsellor to New Delhi, Michael Alfred Ignacio, Unilever Sri Lanka Chairman Mr. Carl Cruz, a Filipino, ADB Country Head Mrs Sri Widowati, Lakshman Jayasekera of the Western Regional Megalopolis Project, top businessman and Industrialist Harry Jayawardena and Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Sri Lanka Central Bank Deputy Governor. Ambassador Vicente Vicencio Bandillo, Philippine Ambassador in Dhaka, Bangladesh which has concurrent jurisdiction over Sri Lanka, was also present to give support to the exclusive business gathering. “We see much potential in trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, and much has to be done to increase the bilateral trade between the two countries, currently standing at around US$40 million,” said Ambassador Bandillo, who recently joined a high-level business delegation from Colombo in Manila. “We recognise and laud the efforts of the Philippine Honorary Consulate in Colombo and the Sri Lanka Philippine Business Council for the consistent strong interest shown in representing the Sri Lanka business community to do business with the Philippines, which culminated in the signing of an MOU for stronger business cooperation between the Council and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.”
Speaking during the panel discussions, Commercial Counsellor Michael Alfred V. Ignacio, who heads the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in New Delhi, as the official representative of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry in the south Asia region, presented the strategic advantages of partnership with the Philippines for Sri Lanka businesses looking to expand to and access overseas markets both for high potential investments and trade.
“The Philippine government actively invites Sri Lanka businesses to explore strategic opportunities being offered by the Philippines, such as looking into investments in its 485 economic zones, and to take advantage of the country’s foothold in major markets in Asia Pacific and the Americas due to its strategic location in the far East,” Ignacio added.
In Sri Lanka, the Philippine government is represented by Honorary Consul Hugh Sriyal Dissanayake, a well-respected and highly successful shipping magnate in Sri Lanka. Mr. Dissanayake founded the Sri Lanka-Philippines Business Council composed of top Sri Lanka businessmen in 2014. The Council regularly organized a top level delegation with the objective of strengthening business ties between the two countries from the private sector perspective.
“We see great potential in developing strong economic ties between the Philippines and Sri Lanka, and the business council membership continues to grow reflecting the strong interest for Sri Lanka companies to work with the Philippines as a trading partner judging from the highly progressive economic developments in the country which we have seen for the past three years during our business missions.” said Honorary Consul Dissanayake.
Sri Lanka business top executives discuss trade and investment opportunities in the Philippines through high-level business forum in Colombo. In photo (from left to right): Sri Lanka Philippine Business Council President Mr. Ravi de Silva, Philippine Trade and Investment Center Commercial Counsellor Michael Alfred V. Ignacio, Unilever Sri Lanka Chairman Mr. Carl Cruz, Sri Lanka Trade and Industry Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Philippine Ambassador to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka Hon. Vicente Bandillo, and Business and Philippine Honorary Consul in Colombo Mr. Hugh Sriyal Dissanayake.
PH holds trade and investment roadshow in India
Published: 12 October 2016
The Philippines, through the Department of Trade and Industry’s Trade and Investment Center in New Delhi (PTIC – New Delhi) recently held trade and investment roadshows which were dubbed as "Business Round Table: Strategic Trade and Investment Opportunities with the Philippines" in two of India’s top business cities, Mumbai and Bangalore.
“India can look to the Philippines as a secondary location to access the ASEAN Economic Community, and other important regional markets. In addition, the Philippines is the only ASEAN country with EU GSP+ privileges and GSP privileges in the USA,” emphasized Philippine Commercial Counsellor Michael Alfred V. Ignacio in New Delhi.
The events, hosted by the World Trade Centers located in the said cities, are primarily aimed to establish stronger business ties with India. At present, India is considered as one of the world’s fastest growing major economies.
PTIC – New Delhi noted that the event provided a platform for the Philippines to position itself as an attractive investment hub and as a strategic gateway to the six hundred twenty-two (622) million market of the ASEAN Economic Community, one of the fastest growing regions in the world.
“Besides English as the main language of business of both countries, India and the Philippines are also among the world’s fastest growing economies and are major players in the global IT-BPM Value Chain. Tier II IT and BPM companies from India can follow the example of 14 of India’s top companies who are already located in the Philippines to strengthen their foothold in the global services markets,” added Ignacio.
The Philippine economy grew by 7% in the 2nd quarter of 2016, while India with a population of 1.2 billion, is expected to post above 7% GDP growth for the same period.
According to DTI PTIC – New Delhi, Philippines looks forward to tap the unexplored high potential for trade and investment partnership with India. With 345 economic zones, the Philippines is seen as an ideal hub in establishing India’s commercial presence and reach out to high potential markets in the Asia Pacific rim.
DTI PTIC – New Delhi presented excellent opportunities in priority sectors such as IT Enabled Services (ITES), automotive components, public-private partnerships (PPP) and infrastructure development. It also identified potentials of Philippine products such as high innovation and design-driven products for niche markets, electronics and semi-conductors. Philippines also positions itself as an alternative education destination for Indian students.
Noting the substantial contributions of the Philippine electronics and semiconductors industry in the Philippine economy, M N Vidyashankar, President of the India Electronics and Semiconductors Association and former Principal Secretary in the State of Karnataka mentioned, “We can definitely work together to help the two countries enhance business relationships in the electronics system design and manufacturing space. As the Philippines is a very strong player in this regard and we would like to take advantage in terms of joint-ventures, collaborations and partnerships for companies from the two countries.”
The Indian electronics and hardware industry is expected to perform well above 10% growth levels and reach $112-130 billion by 2018, according to an ASSOCHAM- Ernst and Young study released in April 2016.
At present, India’s electronics and seminconductors current size is at $75 billion which makes it an attractive market for the said industry. Some of the said drivers of growth for the said industry include increasing consumer demand and disposable incomes, and the declining prices of electronics.
India is currently the 20th trading partner of the Philippines.