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PH joins Shanghai roadshow, taps potential trade and investment

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DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez thanks the CIFIT organizers and assures Philippine support for CIFIT 2020 in his official CIFIT video

By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

The Philippines took part in the China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) 2020 Roadshow at the Shanghai Marriot Hotel City Center held last July 16, 2020.

In the statement sent by the Department of Trade Industry (DTI), the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) Shanghai aims to entice major investors from China which is part of the Philippines’ preparations as Guest Country of Honor in the 24th edition of CIFIT. There were more than 400 audiences and PTIC Shanghai’s Commercial Vice Consul Mario Tani delivered a speech to promote the Philippine Pavilion in the upcoming fair and presented the official CIFIT video of DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez assuring Philippine support for CIFIT 2020.


Commercial Vice Consul Mario Tani discusses bills in the legislative mill to aid investors and businesses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vice Consul Tani emphasized that to date China remains the Philippines’ top export market with almost 27% of total exports being shipped to China.  China is also the top import supplier accounting for 23% of the Philippines’ total imports, as well as the Philippines’ top trading partner.

 

He explained that this trend will continue as Philippine exports to China grow by almost 9% annually from CYN56.76B (USD8.02B) in 2017 to CYN61.58B (USD8.70B) in 2018, and Philippine imports from China growing at an average of almost 3% annually from CYN123.58B (USD17.46B) in 2017 to CYN151.39B (USD21.39B) in 2018.  He also noted that China remains among the top sources of investments, including being the top source of approved foreign investments amounting to CYN8B (USD1.13B) in 2018.

“These growth trends are indications of the strong interest and the huge potential for even more Chinese-led trade and investments in the country.  These are also fully aligned with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), with both our countries’ long term plans complementing each other, as BRI partner countries work together in plotting not short-term plans, but rather, the long term trajectory of bilateral ties,” he added.

Vice Consul Tani also shared the Philippines’ growth performance, with approved investments reaching a record level of Php1.14 trillion or the equivalent of USD 22.8 billion in 2019—the highest in the DTI’s 52-year history.

He highlighted China Telecom’s investment as the third major internet service provider in the country.  This could potentially lead to the biggest initial public offering (IPO) in the Philippines with China Telecom’s Philippine partner Converge ICT Solutions planning to raise about USD700 million for the IPO.

He also cited legislative measures designed to attract more investors and businesses post-pandemic, including the Corporate Reform and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE) bill. CREATE will provide immediate relief by way of a big drop in the Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rate from 30% to 25% and further gradually reduced to 20%.

CREATE will give the President flexibility in granting fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for high-value investments for a period of up to 40 years. It will also provide an incentives package that includes: 3 to 6 years of Income Tax Holiday (ITH); special Corporate Income Tax rates, (8% in 2021, 9% in 2022, 10% in 2023); tax and duty exemptions on the importation of capital equipment, raw materials, spare parts and accessories for export enterprise; as well as other enhanced deductions.

CIFIT is currently China’s only international investment promotion event aimed at facilitating bilateral investment. With the themes “Introducing FDI” and “Going Global”, CIFIT focuses on nationality and internationality, investment negotiation and investment policy promotion, coordinated development of national and regional economy, as well as economic and trade exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.


PTIC Shanghai’s Commercial Vice Consul Mario Tani with Xiamen Vice Mayor Lin Jian

The Philippine participation in CIFIT is led by PTIC Guangzhou and the Board of Investments. As the 2020 Guest Country of Honor, the Philippine delegation will be invited to address the audience as the keynote speaker in the International Investment Forum and be given the Honor National Pavilion. The Philippines is also given participation in all the CIFIT roadshows in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzen, Chongqing, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Since its inception in 1997, only the Philippines has been given the prestige of being “Country of Honor” for two consecutive years. The Philippines will be Guest Country of Honor in 2020, the first country to have this distinction in the 24-year history of CIFIT.

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