02 May 2018
Published also in Business Mirror
A HIGH-LEVEL Hong Kong-Shanghai joint investment mission visited the Philippines from April 22 to 24 to explore cooperation and investment opportunities driven by the growing intraregional cooperation in Asia, notably under the “Belt and Road” initiative.
The Belt and Road Initiative promotes connectivity and economic cooperation among countries along the Belt and Road routes to further market integration in the region.
The delegation, organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in association with the Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce, consists of some 40 Hong Kong and Shanghai business leaders and service providers coming from a wide range of industries including consultancy, architecture, energy, waste and water treatment, engineering and construction, legal and accounting, transportation and other sectors.
During the three-day Manila visit, the delegation met with local government officials, agencies and business leaders to explore and discuss potential collaborations between Hong Kong, Shanghai and the Philippines on investment opportunities. The delegates also participated in project briefings and attended the “Hong Kong and Shanghai: Your Investment Partners” luncheon organized by the HKTDC on April 24.
At the luncheon, Hong Kong’s unique advantages as a facilitator for infrastructure development and doing business with the Chinese mainland and the rest of the world were promoted. These advantages include the city’s international network, rich talent pool, sound financial system, fair legal structure and efficient infrastructure.
HKTDC Chairman Vincent HS Lo said the Belt and Road initiative is bringing real opportunities and benefits to the Philippines and around the region. “Our economic, trade and cultural ties are closer than ever with the growing outreach and exchange, such as our mission. Offering a combination of capital, professional expertise and production capability from Hong Kong and Shanghai, we hope to collaborate with partners in the Philippines to turn investment opportunities into bankable ventures.”
Speaking at the Hong Kong and Shanghai: Your Investment Partner luncheon, Commission Leader Dr. Jonathan Choi, chairman of the Hong Kong Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and chairman of Sunwah Group, said: “The delegation is impressed by the prospects of upcoming projects in the country. Apart from capital needs, we also see high demand for total solutions for infrastructure development. In our delegation there are representatives of a wide range of services providers, from architectural and engineering, construction, information technology, project management and operation to legal and risk managements. They are ready to contribute their expertise to the planned development projects.”
The visit of the delegation is timely as Philippine President Duterte has made infrastructure development a top socio-economic development priority. Under his “Build, Build, Build” initiative, a list of mega infrastructure projects amounting to $160 billion is in the pipeline. Infrastructure spending is ambitiously targeted to expand to 7 percent by 2019.