A market insight seminar focused on the Philippines was recently co-organized by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and Philippine Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Philippine Trade & Investment Centre(PTIC)-Singapore to invite Singaporean companies and Singapore-based firms to SBF’s planned Philippine business mission later this year. Some 125 business leaders attended expecting more trade and partnership opportunities with Philippine companies under the new administration.

Seminar speakers were Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Antonio Morales, PTIC-Singapore Commercial Counsellor Glenn Peñaranda, Philippines’ BDO Unibank Senior Vice President and Head of Research Dante Tinga, Jr., Tax and Auditing Services firm SGV partner-in-charge for Mindanao Alvin Pinpin, Law firm Reed Smith Singapore partner Matthew Gorman, and Frontier Strategy Group Head of Research for APAC Adam Jarczyk. 

“This seminar and the upcoming mission show the sustained interest of Singapore in the Philippines, not only in Metro Manila but also in key regional centers such as Clark, Cebu and Davao. We are excited to welcome the participants as the visit will enable them to experience first-hand the remarkable promise of opportunities in the country,” said Peñaranda. 

He added that the mission will be ideal for investors interested in manufacturing, infrastructure, logistics, agribusiness, tourism and IT-business processing management services sectors.  

SGV’s Alvin Pinpin who also sits on the Board of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce said that investors should look at Mindanao because it is an island with rich and untapped resources.  He also noted the direct Singapore-Davao passenger flights that make it easier for trade between Singapore and Mindanao.

Singapore is a valuable partner in the growth story of the Philippines. It ranks as the Philippines’ fifth largest source of approved investments in the world and largest source of investments within the ASEAN.

These missions are the results of unceasing efforts of the SBF and PTIC-Singapore in strengthening the economic ties between Singapore and the Philippines. The SBF is the apex business chamber championing the interests of the Singapore business community in the areas of trade, investment and industrial relations. It represents 22,500 companies, as well as key business chambers. The PTIC assists Singapore companies in sourcing products and services and in pursuing investment prospects in the Philippines

In 2015, Singapore ranked as the Philippines fourth major trading partner (out of 223), fifth export market (out of 211), and fifth import supplier (out of 203). Total bilateral trade amounted to US$ 8.81 billion.