The Philippines holds the Guest Country of Honor at the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) from 2020 until 2021. This year’s premier investment promotion fair will take place from September 8 to 11 at Xiamen, China. 

Represented by major Philippine companies, investment promotion agencies, and government offices–led by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) – Guangzhou–the country will present major business opportunities for Chinese and foreign investors who are interested to diversify and expand in the Philippines.  

The Philippines’ participation and recognition as Guest Country of Honor for two years at CIFIT underscore the country’s good economic fundamentals, strong relations and partnerships with China, and projected growth into one of the world’s emerging economies to invest in. Entering the investment promotion fair this year with the campaign “Partner Philippines,” the country hopes to strengthen further trade relations between the two Asian nations and complement economic growth and recovery from today’s current challenges due to the pandemic.  

Global experts and financial organizations have cited the Philippines as a conducive place for business and investments prior to and even after the pandemic. Reputed business magazine The Economist ranked the country as the 6th emerging economy with high financial strength. CEOWorld Magazine places the Philippines within the top ten countries to invest in post-COVID. Both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund also predict a V-shaped economic recovery for the country, with forecasts of 6.2% to 6.8% respectively by 2021. 

The Philippines’ “Build, Build, Build” program remains at the helm of economic growth in the country, accelerating economic growth by 6% in 2019. While spending on infrastructure was adjusted in 2020 to boost COVID-19 mitigation efforts, work continues on major projects such as motorways, bridges, IT parks, and economic zones at key regions nationwide.  The budget on infrastructure is also predicted to increase in 2021, underscoring the Philippines’ commitment to improve connectivity and logistics to further boost economic growth and development. 

Beyond infrastructure spending, the Philippines is expected to grow and strengthen various key sectors that benefit both domestic and international demand. Chinese and foreign investors may explore various opportunities and partnerships that the Philippine delegation at CIFIT 2020 will present to promote and drive complementary growth and economic recovery in the coming years. 

The country’s strategic location and in the ASEAN and strong linkages in the global supply chain make the Philippines a conducive location for businesses concerned with export-oriented manufacturing activities, especially in electronics and appliances. Conversely, companies may also tap into the country’s 110 million-strong market and provide in-demand products that the Philippines imports in large quantities, such as steel and textiles.  

The Philippines and China can also partner together to develop the critical medical and pharmaceutical market that can serve both local and international demand. The country also has a competent workforce that can help in producing and manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients, essential medicines, biologics, and vaccines. The Philippine government gives its full assistance via legislations that provide incentives for manufacturing these critical products. Also enjoying adequate government support are petrochemicals–with increased local and international demand for resins, the Philippines offers competitive incentives for companies who are involved in the manufacturing side of the industry.  

Another key sector driven by the Philippines’ young and driven workforce is the tech start-up ecosystem. With fintech and e-commerce growing ever stronger in the region, the country is poised to develop an advanced tech start-up environment, led by a tech-savvy workforce that ranks favorably in terms of value-for-money and affordability worldwide. The Philippines also has strong manpower in the creative services sector, ranking highly in the ASEAN in terms of animation, animation, game, film, online sports, and e-learning, including English as a second language (ESL). The Philippines also remains the top destination and a global leader in voice BPO, and the country continues to promote other horizontal services like engineering outsourcing and IT services, and other focused solutions like healthcare information management services.  

Finally, the Philippines continues to harness its strong agricultural sector, offering a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, marine products, and healthy and natural food and beverages. With China as one of the country’s top agricultural markets, the Philippines hopes to boost more investments on projects that can aid in the production and value-adding activities of the sector, such as agricultural technology, logistics, and marketing.                                                                  

Backed with strong economic fundamentals and the vote of confidence from major financial governing bodies, the Philippine delegation to CIFIT 2020 aims to forge strategic partnerships with Chinese and foreign investors and encourage them to make their next business move happen in the Philippines.♦

Date of Release: 8 September 2020