Duterte encourages Thai investors to come in, expand trade in PH

Duterte encourages Thai investors to come in, expand trade in PH
President Rodrigo Duterte meeting some prospective investors in Thailand that he encouraged to invest in the Philippines. Also attending is Trade Chief Ramon Lopez. Photo from DTI Office of the Secretary

Duterte encourages Thai investors
to come in, expand trade in PH

By THEPHILBIZNEWS STAFF

President Duterte has, once again, played the salesman’s role for the Philippines when 20 Thai corporate executives sat down with him at the sidelines of the 34th Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) Summit held recently in Bangkok, Thailand.

A witness and organizer of that meeting – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez – revealed today (June 26) that the President was able to encourage Thai investments in the Philippines.

THEPHILBIZNEWS learned that the Thai executives who paid a courtesy call on Duterte last June 22 were from the industries of agriculture, banking, cement, chemical, food, energy, real estate, and tourism.

Some of them represented private sector organizations, such as the Thailand-Philippines Business Council, the Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Trade Thailand, the Thai Bankers Association, and the Philippine Alumni Association of Thailand, Lopez told THEPHILBIZNEWS.

Among the companies represented were SCG Packaging PLC and Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods Philippines Corporation, which are both already heavily invested in the Philippines, he added.

The DTI Secretary quoted President Duterte as having told this audience: “I invite you to ride on the momentum of Philippine growth story, and invest especially in the new industrial destinations of Metro Manila, Pampanga, (Clark), Cebu, Bohol, and Davao.”

Since some of those in the meeting already have existing investments in the Philippines, like SCG Packaging and CP Foods, Lopez said the value of coming face-to-face with the President boosted their security and encouraged them to invest further.

“Some of them have existing investments in the Philippines, and are looking to further expand their investments, while the others are interested to invest. Such is a testament of the confidence of the international business community to the abled leadership of our President,” said Lopez.

SCG is a paper packaging manufacturer undertaking a US$ 100-million (roughly P5.14 billion) expansion plan in the Philippines (PH).

Meanwhile, CP Foods Philippines is currently on track in its five-year (2017-2022) investment plan for swine and poultry farms in Visayas and Mindanao worth US$ 2 billion. CP Foods is part of Thailand’s CP Group, which was encouraged by Sec. Lopez to increase its investments in real estate.

Other companies present at the courtesy call were: Bangkok Bank Public Co., Ltd.; Dusit Thani Public Co., Ltd.; Eastern Water Resources Development and Management Plc; Erawan Group; Green Spot Co., Ltd

New Waitek Co., Ltd.; Nguan Soon Group; PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Co., Ltd.; Siam Cement Public Co., Ltd.; Srithai Superware Public Co., Ltd.; Thai Beverage Public Co., Ltd.; ThaiSri Insurance Public Co., Ltd.

DTI figures showed that in 2018, Thailand ranked as the country’s sixth major trading partner; sixth export market, and fifth import supplier, with total bilateral trade amounting to US$ 10.76 billion (approximately P552.6 billion).

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