Philippine Investment Forum 2018 (25 September 2018, Kuala Lumpur): Guest of Honor and Speakers during the Awarding of Token of Appreciation and Photo Opportunity.

From left to right: Katrina Banzon, Commercial Attaché of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center – Kuala Lumpur (organizer); Danny Leong, Group CEO of GHL Systems Berhad; Aileen Zosa, Executive Vice President of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA); Patrick Nicholas David, President of AlloyMTD (Philippines) Holding Co., Inc.; Charito B. Plaza, Director General of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), YB Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of Trade and International Industry (MITI); Nora Terrado, Undersecretary for Trade and Promotions Group of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); Edward Ling, President of the Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industries Philippines, Inc. (MCCI); H.E. Charles Jose, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Kuala Lumpur; and Romeo Montenegro, Assistant Secretary of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA). Not in photo: Secretary Datu Abul Hj. Khayr D. Alonto, Chairman of MinDA; Atty. Zuleika Lopez, City Administrator of the City Government of Davao; Lemuel Ortonio, Head of the Davao City Investment Promotion Council (DCIPC); and Dr. Myl Johann Amsid, Consultant of the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (ZCSEZA).

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through The Philippine Trade and Investment Center – Kuala Lumpur (PTIC-Kuala Lumpur), hosted the PHILIPPINE INVESTMENT FORUM 2018 on September 25 under the banner Partner Philippines: Building Value Together. The event was held to promote the Philippines as a premier investment destination for Malaysian businesses – “No. 1 in Best Countries to Invest In” according to U.S. News (2018).

In his Opening Remarks, H.E. Charles C. Jose, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines in Kuala Lumpur emphasized the business opportunities available to Malaysian investors. He said that “the Philippines considers Malaysia as a key partner” and that trade and investment relations between the two countries “continue to outperform expectations.”

During the half-day event, guest speakers tackled various investment topics, including a presentation on business opportunities and the outlook of various investment topics, an infrastructure segment in relation to the Build! Build! Build! campaign of the administration, a Mindanao-focused session by Mindanao-based investment promotion agencies, testimonials by Malaysian companies doing business in the Philippines, among others.

During the Press Conference, Katrina V. Banzon, Commercial Attaché of PTIC-Kuala Lumpur, drew attention to the favorable trade and investment relationship between the Philippines and Malaysia: “To date, there are over a dozen Malaysian owned companies in the Philippines. The trade and investment growth continues rapidly and for the period of January and November 2017, Malaysia’s net investment to the Philippines increased by 360.27 per cent to US$ 13.78M. This moves Malaysia 10 positions up, making it the 10th leading investment source of the Philippines in 2017, from 20th at US$ 3.01 M in 2016.”

Guest of Honor YB Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry, gave the keynote address. The Deputy Minister highlighted: “Our businesses should look into how we want to build ASEAN into a cohesive unit, with much more interaction and cooperation between the private sector within ASEAN so that we can take advantage of this trade diversion that is happening because of the US-China trade war. There are many opportunities for us to co-invest as a strategic hub between countries in ASEAN so that we can export together to other countries, including to China, and to the US as well.”

DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group Nora K. Terrado welcomed the strengthening of economic cooperation between the Philippines and Malaysia and among the members of the ASEAN region. “Beyond investments, the Philippines offers a long-term partnership that will be mutually beneficial to all parties in building values,” Terrado added.

Secretary Datu Abul Hj. Khayr D. Alonto, Chairman of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) emphasized the investment opportunities in Mindanao, which was echoed and supported by a strong official and business delegation from Mindanao, particularly from Davao and Zamboanga. Other equally important speakers are Director General Charito B. Plaza of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and Executive Vice President Aileen R. Zosa of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), who touched on economic zones and infrastructure projects in the Philippines – all set to bring greater development in the country.

On the sidelines of the Forum, business-to-business meetings were scheduled for the official and business delegations from the Philippines, and the participants from Malaysia. Speakers and participants include high-level Philippine and Malaysian government officials, captains of industry, C-level and other company executives, and private sector organization representatives. More than 260 potential investors and strategic partners attended the Forum.♦

Date of Release: 8 October 2018