PH strength­ens bi­lat­eral ties with Malaysia

Sun.Star Davao - - BUSINESS -

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.

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