Singapore’s Ambassador to Manila Kok Li Peng urged businessmen from the Philippines to consider investing in Singapore companies and to build more partnerships with entrepreneurs from the island state.
“We have a long-standing partnership between Singaporean companies and Philippine companies,” the
ambassador said at the weekly Pandesal Forum in Quezon City on Tuesday.
“I am happy to encourage Philippine companies to come, take a look at Singapore companies,” the ambassador, who has been in the Philippines for two years, said.
While recognizing the Philippines’ brisk economic growth, the ambassador also noted that Singapore is the Philippines’ top trading and investment partner in the Asean region. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that Singapore ranked as the Philippines’ first investment partner during the first three quarters of 2016 alone, with investment pledges reaching P16.7 billion.
The volume of trade and investment between the two countries is expected to grow further, the ambassador said.
Explaining Singapore’s interest in the Philippines, she said “the President (Duterte) has been working very hard to bring in assistance from countries in the region and countries in the region are responding.”
She did not mention specific deals between the two Asean countries, saying the negotiations were still ongoing. She only said the two governments hope to report anytime soon on “the various stages of progress.” President Rodrigo Duterte and his cabinet secretaries visited Singapore in December.
The ambassador said the Singapore government is “happy” to let the Philippines see measures such as “congestion pricing” that Singapore has in place to address traffic issues.
“Road congestion pricing is a noble mechanism that Singapore has put up for ourselves,” she said.
Singapore is willing to make presentations and discuss the method with the Philippines, she added.
Earlier, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said it was also considering congestion pricing by imposing fees on private vehicles on certain thoroughfares, to address traffic congestion.
Singapore regards the Philippines as “Asia’s next bright spot,” and the Philippines is also trying to promote its industries in Singapore for investment.
According to a Philippine trade and investment website, the Philippines is promoting the following industries in Singapore: infrastructure, PPP and energy; food and agribusiness; aerospace; electronics, shipbuilding; tourism facilities and services; and IT services.