ASec Robeniol at ASEAN RCEP Talk

Ms Ann Robeniol, DTI Philippines Assistant Secretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Group and the Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) Chair for the Philippines, recently provided a lecture on the progress of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore.

The RCEP 22nd round of negotiations was held in Singapore from 28 April to 8 May 2018 with 16 participating countries presenting diverse set of interests. While faced with challenges, there is expectation that the countries will resolve their differences and complete the negotiation later this year.

Joining Ms.Robeniol at the lecture is Dr Sanchita Basu Das who acted as the moderator for the session. Photo is from the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute Facebook page.

Date of release: 11 June 2018

FHA Pavillion
FHA Pavillion Singapore 2
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez and Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph Del Mar Yap, on separate occasions, visited the Official Philippine Pavilion at the Food and Hotel Asia (FHA) 2018 show and gave their support to Filipino food entrepreneurs.
The Official Philippine Pavilion, through the support of the DTI Export Marketing Bureau and DTI Singapore, successfully featured 10 Filipino food companies who proudly exhibited artisanal, organic and premium quality food products at the recently concluded Food and Hotel Asia (FHA) 2018 show held at the Singapore Expo.
FHA visitors including dignitaries and special guests were treated to Philippine’s fresh and preserved fruits, fruit jams and marmalades (ranging from mango, pineapple, guava, papaya, santol, tamarind, calamansi, etc.), high-grade choices of banana chips, coconut products (coconut water, coconut sugar, balsamico, virgin coconut oil, etc), Filipino traditional snacks (peanuts, cashew, crackers, biscuits, etc.), and canned fish products (sardines, tuna, mackerel). There were food samplings and live cooking demonstrations on site that everyone enjoyed.
This year’s FHA saw 81,896 attendees from more than 105 countries/regions, an increase of 14 per cent from 2016. From first time exhibitors to decades-long partnerships, FHA played host to 3,500 exhibitors from 76 countries/regions and 71 international group pavilions including the Philippines.♦
Date of release: 07 May 2018

SINGAPORE – The Philippines (PH) continues to be an investment destination for Singaporean companies as USD 185.7 million-worth of investment pledges providing 1,920 job opportunities were signed at the sidelines of the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit on 28 April 2018.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported that the investment pledges will cover collaborative works on aviation, solutions for sustainable urbanization, as well as development of marine renewable energy, packaging, film manufacturing, information, communications technology, financial technology, water solutions, prefabricated projects, food, and blockchain technology. 

“With our robust bilateral trade and investments ties, we are confident that these new business agreements will even deepen our relationship further. These will push Philippine-Singapore trade engagement to even greater heights,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. 

“With these investments coming in, I am fulfilling a personal commitment to my countrymen to bring them more job opportunities. That’s why I am appreciative of your investment in the Philippines. I promise you that when you invest in the Philippines, we will ensure that your investments will be protected,” the President added. 

The President witnessed the presentation of six Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and four Letters of Intent (LOI) signed between the PH business delegation—composed of Filinvest Development Corporation, Everhydro Corporation, Cebu Air, Inc., ICS ICT Support Service Corporation, Ascent Solutions Philippines Inc., and Jollibee Foods Corporation—and Singaporean companies, including Keppel Corporation, OceanPixel, SIA Engineering Company Limited, Hitachi Asia Ltd., Robin Village International Pte. Ltd., Ascent Solutions Pte. Ltd., and Golden Beeworks Pte. Ltd. 

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez also signed an LOI with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman Robert Yap, which involves a feasibility study on a suitable site for the implementation of a free online marketplace, SGConnect™ legacy project. 

Sec. Lopez also signed an LOI with Lepack Packaging Pte. Ltd. Director Lim Seong Nam, which will explore opportunities to help and assist micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by developing innovative packaging. 

In 2017, Singapore (SG) was PH’s 6th trading partner, 5th export market, and 7th import supplier with total bilateral trade valued at USD 9.34 billion. Exports of semiconductor devices manufactured on consignment basis also boosted PH export to SG by 1.16% in 2017. 

Likewise, a significant growth of 378% (or Php 2.13 billion in 2017 from Php 444 million in 2016) approved investments from SG was noted in electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply industry. 

Meanwhile, Secretary Lopez encouraged SG’s business community to join PH’s growth story by locating and expanding their businesses in the country. 

“There are enormous opportunities for companies partnering with Philippines as the country is on its economic breakout,” said Sec. Lopez. 

"The 6.7% GDP growth, increasing consumer base, and highly-skilled and young workforce complement the various reforms and infrastructure programs of the government, as well as new policies in enhancing business environment and competitiveness,” Sec. Lopez added. 

The trade chief also highlighted PH’s preferential agreements and market access to Europe, the European Union and United States. 

“We are a strategic partner as the Philippines is located at the crossroads of international shipping and airlines, and a natural gateway to the East Asian economies. With our preferential agreements to big economies, we can also provide access to the large US and EU markets,” Sec. Lopez concluded.♦

Date of release: 30 April 2018

PRRD MOU Signing ASEAN Summit Sidelines
The Philippines continues to attract direct foreign investments, as President Rodrigo Duterte secured investment pledges worth US$185.7 million during a business forum organized by the DTI Philippine Trade & Investment Centre - Singapore on the sidelines of this year’s ASEAN Summit in Singapore on Saturday, April 28.
The President and some of his cabinet members witnessed the presentation of 6 MOUs between Philippine-based and Singaporean companies, respectively, including Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC) and Keppel Corporation; FDC and Hitachi Asia Ltd.; Everhydro and OceanPixel; Robin Village International Pte. Ltd. and ICSICT Support Services Corp.; Ascent Solutions Philippines Inc. and Ascent Solutions Pte Ltd.; and Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and Singapore Manufacturing Federation.
Additional 4 Letters of Intent (LOI) were also announced between Jollibee Woldwide Pte. Ltd. and Golden Beeworks Pte. Ltd, SIA Engineering Company Limited (SIAEC) and Cebu Air, Inc., Lepack Packaging Pte. Ltd., Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and ASEAN Business Advisory Council.
The investment commitments span from urban development, renewable energy, aviation, manufacturing and economic and trade cooperation are expected to generate some 1,920 job opportunities for Filipinos.
In return to their vote of confidence in the Philippines, President Duterte assured the Singaporean business leaders present at the forum that there will be no corruption under his governance and tasked the departments of trade and finance to effect measures that will ease the process of conducting business in the country.♦
Date of release: 03 May 2018

The Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI), through the Philippine Trade & investment Centre (PTIC)-Singapore, recently held a seminar on online registration for single proprietorship at the investment boot camp hosted by The Global Filipino Investors (TGFI) in Singapore. PTIC-Singapore was represented by Commercial Counsellor Cynthia Ricafort who shared with over 800 attendees.

In February of this year, the DTI launched the Philippine Business Registry (PBR), an online system for entrepreneurs to register single proprietorships and apply for licenses. The objective is to do away with the repetitious process of having to fill up numerous forms and submitting the same official papers to different agencies. The PBR links DTI with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Social Security System, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG.

The PBR is one of the DTI’s contributions to the ease of doing business in the Philippines, in line with the administration’s commitment in streamlining processes to improve the country’s global ranking in Ease of Doing Business.

“I am very much looking forward to helping the TGFI bootcamp attendees become business owners. With the PBR, registration is easier, taking only five steps in 15 days, from 14 steps in 34 days,” said Commercial Counsellor Cynthia Ricafort.

For those who would opt to register in the Philippines or through relatives, application can be done in the DTI provincial and regional offices or in one of the 447 Negosyo (Business) Centers nationwide. For more inquiries on the Philippine Business Registry, visit:, call +632 751333, 7513142, 7513259, 7513257 and e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

TGFI is a community of Filipinos geared to promote financial literacy to improve the financial well-being of its members. The TGFI investors boot camp held at the Singapore Expo was the second global summit of the group and boasted of business experts on personal finance management, stock market, real estate, agribusiness and franchising.♦

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