FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has offered to help investors from Hong Kong explore opportunities in the Philippines, including the possible opening of an Economic and Trade office in Manila to strengthen relations with the former British colony.
Cayetano made the offer when he met Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-Ngor of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on Friday. During the meeting, he discussed the enhancement of economic relations between the Philippines and Hong Kong, as well as the improvement of cultural cooperation, people-to-people exchanges, and matters related to the Filipino Community in Hong Kong.
“We are optimistic about the future of Philippine-Hong Kong relations and we look forward to taking giant steps in various areas of cooperation,” Cayetano said in a statement.
He noted that strengthening cooperation with Hong Kong is important following the signing of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) on November.
The AHKFTA is the sixth free trade agreement entered into by the regional bloc with external partners. It consists of fourteen chapters covering broad areas of market access liberalization, trade facilitation, rules to promote confidence in trade, and co-operation aimed at facilitating trade in goods and services in the region.
Cayetano encouraged Hong Kong officials to look at tourism as an area for growth.
He offered to assist investors from Hong Kong in exploring opportunities in the Philippines, the 13th largest trading market for Hong Kong.