BEIJING – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte witnessed the exchange of 19 signed business agreements with Chinese firms, amounting to US$ 12.165 billion in investments/trade leading to a projected employment of 21,165 jobs, on April 26 at the sidelines of the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in China.
The Philippine business delegation and their Chinese counterparts signed one (1) contract agreement, three (3) cooperation agreements, two (2) purchase framework agreements, and 13 Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) or Understanding (MOU). Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez reported that majority of these projects are on energy, infrastructure, food, telecommunications, sale of agricultural products, tourism and economic zone and industrial park development.
“The Duterte administration is pushing for investments on energy and manufacturing for the Philippines to broaden its manufacturing base and increase its exports. Among the agreements are energy projects that will help the country decrease its dependence on oil and gas imports. There will also be several industrial parks to bring jobs to Filipinos in the countryside,” said Sec. Lopez.
Aside from these agreements, AAC Technologies also expressed intent to expand its current operations in PH during a courtesy call with Sec. Lopez. The company plans to invest US$ 30 million to engage in stepper motor and motor reducer manufacturing and create about 3,000 jobs in the next three years.
The contract agreement is for the proposed 250MW South Pulangi Hydroelectric Power Plant Project in Damulog, Bukidnon. The project, to be developed by Pulangi Hydro Power Corporation and China Energy Co Ltd, aims to improve power supply reliability and resilience in the country, particularly in Mindanao. It is valued at US$ 800 million and will create 5,000 jobs.
Filipino conglomerate Tranzen Group entered a framework agreement with China Power Investment Holding for thermal, hydro, and renewable power plants, cumulatively valued at around US$ 1.5 – 2 billion and is expected to create 1,000 jobs.
The Davao Occidental local government and Fengyuan Holdings signed an MOU for a US$ 1.5 billion petrochemical refinery processing plant complex to be located at the Tubalan Cove Business and Industrial Park. The project is estimated to need 500 workers.
As part of the long-term plan to reduce dependence on imported energy fuels, the Department of Energy, Shanghai Electric Group Co Ltd, and Deluxe Family Co Ltd inked a US$ 40 million MOU to collaborate in the promotion of the use of indigenous, new, and renewable energy resources.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Tranzen likewise signed two MOUs for infrastructure and telecommunications projects. One was with China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd for construction of the LRT in Manila, housing, and roads in North Luzon. These projects have a combined value of US$ 4 billion and are expected to generate 1,000 jobs. The other was with CITIC Guoan Information Technology for a US$ 500 million project to construct infrastructure for nationwide Wi-Fi Internet connectivity in various capital cities and towns in PH, which is expected to create 1,000 jobs.
Two PH companies also signed purchase framework agreements to supply agricultural products to Chinese companies. Philpack Corporation will supply US$ 40 million-worth of pineapples to Chinese company Goodfarmer Foods Holding Group, while Eng Seng Food Products will supply US$ 36.5 million-worth of green coconuts to China Artex Corporation. The latter is expected to produce 1,500 jobs.
ECONOMIC ZONE AND INDUSTRIAL PARK DEVELOPMENT
The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) signed six MOUs with Chinese firms to develop the economic zone. Projects include a US$ 150 million yacht club, a US$ 500 million green textile industry park, a US$ 500 million expansion of the Cagayan North International Airport, a US$ 100 million fintech hub and financial center, a US$ 500 million smart city, and US$ 150 million for various projects including a resort and theme park and lithium battery manufacturing plant.
The Pampanga local government and Chinese firm Macrolink Group likewise inked a US$ 1.5 billion framework agreement to construct and develop the Yatai Industrial Park, estimated to create 10,000 jobs.
The third framework agreement is between GFTG Property Holdings and Sanya CEDF Sino-Philippine Investment Corporation for a US$ 298 million project to develop Grande and Chiquita Islands under the Subic Bay Matropolitan Authority. The project is set to open 500 – 1,000 jobs.
Adnama Mining Resource, Inc., Fu Properties Inc, and Xiamen C&D Incorporation also signed an MOU to construct a $50 million iron processing plant in Agusan Del Norte.