Vibrant trade relations, initially among nine Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies, but expanding eventually to all its members, are expected to create employment opportunities for more Filipinos following the successful 2015 APEC Leaders’ Meeting which the Philippines hosted last week.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz made this confident observation Thursday in the wake of several bilateral meetings of President Benigno Aquino 3rd as the Philippines’ leader-host of the APEC.
“The bilateral meetings of the Philippines with Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Russia, and the United States of America, resulted in identification of potential investment areas and employment opportunities, as well as continued stronger trade relations, as well as export opportunities for Philippine products and services with these APEC member-economies,” Baldoz said in a news release.
Staring off with Australia, Baldoz said potential Australian investments would be in processed food and agribusiness, IT-BPM, engineering services, infrastructure and other private-public partnership projects, auto parts exports, and manufacturing.
With Japan, the labor and employment chief said the bilateral meeting of President Aquino with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could pave the way for more Japanese investments in the country’s copper mining industry and manufacturing sector, specifically for auto parts, printer, and printing parts, and medical devices, as well as investments in the services sector, particularly on IT-BPM and gaming development.
With Korea, the established trade agreement covers investment opportunities for shipbuilding, automotive manufacturing, electronics manufacturing (printers, integrated circuits, LED modules), agribusiness (food production and processing), renewable energy, banking and finance, tourism (hotel, retirement village, infrastructure and PPP, including the other labor-intensive industries migrating out of China, such as shoes, jewellery, and garments.
The Philippines had also established trade agreements with Mexico in the areas of infrastructure and energy, manufacturing of electronics, food/agribusiness, pharmaceutical and medicine, aerospace, fabricated metal products, and consumer products, paving the way for more Mexican businesses to operate in the Philippines.
In tourism, the Philippines signed with Mexico a Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation seeking to develop tourism sector activities, particularly in the areas of research and development, education and training, promotion, and tourism investments.
New Zealand’s potential investments which could create more employment opportunities are in processed food and agribusiness, IT-BPM services, engineering services, infrastructure and other public-private partnership projects, auto parts exports/ and manufacturing.
Another South American country with which the Philippines could develop increased trade is Peru, which has identified investment opportunities in the country’s infrastructure, energy, manufacturing of electronics, food/agribusiness, pharmaceutical and medicine, aerospace, fabricated metal products, and consumer products.
With Papua New Guinea, the Philippines welcomes PNG investments in infrastructure/PPP, IT-BPM, shipbuilding, energy, and agribusiness and other sectors.
In Eastern Europe, the Philippines expects more robust trade with Russia, which is keen on investing in the country’s IT-BPM sector, processed and specialty food manufacture, non-renewable and renewable energy, design-driven products, and aerospace.
With the United States as the country’s biggest trade partner, Baldoz said the Philippines will benefit more from American investments in the IT-BPM sector, food manufacture, and design-driven products.
“These potential investment and employment opportunities are tangible outcomes of the Philippines’ hosting and active participation in the APEC. We at the DOLE supports the inclusive growth strategy of the APEC region by expanding access to opportunities and enabling people to realize their full potential,” said Baldoz.