MANILA CITY – During the China (Zhangzhou)-Philippines Economic and Trade Cooperation and Exchange Briefing on 13 July 2023, Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual underscored the importance of strengthening trade cooperation between the two countries, particularly in investment relations. The DTI Chief stressed that with China being the Philippines’ largest trading partner, the Department warmly welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest in the country.

The event included presentations from different bureaus and projects and a signing ceremony organized by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of the Philippines and Zhangzhou Municipal People’s Government.

In his speech, Secretary Pascual said, “We welcome investments from Chinese enterprises to the Philippines further to enhance the bilateral relationship between our two countries. Such investments can take advantage of the development momentum brought about by the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement to which the Philippines and China are signatories along with 13 other countries in the East and Southeast Asian Region.”

China is the country’s largest source of imports and the third-largest export destination in 2022. In fact, the visit of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to the country brought home investment leads amounting to USD 22.8 billion.

Secretary Pascual also cited the favorable business climate in the Philippines given its strategic geographical location and recently enacted reforms that will provide simplified procedures, enhance transparency, and promote investor-friendly policies. He also cited a range of sectors that would be potential investment destinations such as petrochemicals, agriculture, e-commerce, logistics, medical/health industries, green industries, tourism, and education, among others.

As the Department of Trade and Industry formally launched today, 13 July 2023, Executive Order No. 18, which will create green lanes for strategic investments, it will enhance the ease of doing business in the country by expediting, streamlining, and automating government processes. These green lanes are vital to address the barriers across multiple regulatory agencies which usually hampers the realization of foreign direct investments in the country.

Secretary Pascual added, “The China-Philippines investment relations of the past five years have laid the foundation for a prosperous future. Come and be a part of our thriving economy, our vibrant culture, and our bright future. The stage is set, the opportunities are vast, and the time is now. Let’s make it Happen in the Philippines!” ♦

Date of release: 13 July 2023