PH strengthens bilateral ties with Malaysia
THE economic ministers of Philippines and Malaysia have recently met at the sidelines of the Philippine hosting of the 49th Asean Economic Ministers’ (AEM) Meeting and Related Meetings on September 8, 2017 to discuss matters in strengthens bilateral ties between the two countries.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez convened a bilateral met with Malaysian Minister for International Trade and Industry Y.B. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed to discuss various measures to enhance trade and investment relations including regional economic integration.
Malaysia requested Philippines participation and support in its Asean internship program as a way to improve people-to-people interaction among college students. Under this program, interns will have the opportunity to gain experience in an Asean company.
Philippines, meanwhile, sought Malaysia’s support in the development of the Halal industry through various capacity building initiatives, including trainings and internship.
Philippines also followed up on the proposed cooperation in palm oil, given that this can be instrumental in developing key areas in Mindanao. MY indicated that it is working very closely with Indonesia in addressing the various issues facing the industry, including the environmental lobby in the Europe and taxes.
Philippines requested Malaysia to participate in the business matching activities for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as part of the activities for Philippines chairmanship.
Malaysia underscored the need for a united Asean in moving forward with Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
In parallel development, Malaysian investors remain bullish on pouring in more significant investments in the Philippines given the country’s robust economy buoyed by heavy spending in infrastructure projects, expanding market with a large young population and growing middle class, and the administration’s firm resolve to further ease the cost of doing business in the country and manage the peace and order situation in Mindanao.
In Philippines, Malaysian investments have been on a steady growth in the recent years. Approved Malaysian investments by all the investment promotion agencies (IPAs) reached P219.038 billion in 2016.
In the first eight months of 2017, Malaysian investments registered with all IPAs reached P26.242 billion. Of these figures, total BOI-registered Malaysian investments amounted to P4.33 billion from 2012 up to January to August 2017.
Top Malaysian investments in Philippines are in the industries of agriculture, forestry and fishing; manufacturing; power; water supply, sewerage, and waste management; construction; wholesale and retail trade; transportation and storage; information and communication; financial and insurance activities; real estate activities, and administrative and support activities.