Koreans eye food, telecom investments

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South Korean businessmen are interested in making investments on aluminum foil production, food processing  in the country, as well as seek partnerships  in the telecommunications sector.

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Representing a South Korean trade delegation now in the Philippines, Thomas Shinn, Hanshinn Investments Corp. chairman and chief executive officer, said that Korean companies are looking into investing and importing more from the country.

“We are looking on what we can buy from the Philippines. [Local] exporting companies should inform and tell us what they should export,” Shinn said.

“This time, the trade delegation is more on importing [from the Philippines], but we also look at investing . . . we also look at making products [manufacturing]here in the
Philippines and taking it to Korea and other Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] countries,” he added.

Shinn said that the South Korean traders are interested on importing more local garments and mining produce because Korea “does not have much mineral resources.”

On the other hand, a tie up is now on the works with a telecommunications firm in Korea and local counterparts in the Philippines, but Shinn said that he cannot further disclose details.

“I’ve talked to secretary today [Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo]. If we found a good partner, then it will be a big investment. [The South Korean company] wants to have a joint venture with big Philippine telecom companies,” Shinn said.

For manufacturing, Shinn said that some South Korean firms are interested in aluminum foil production in the Philippines, mostly for packaging of food and other products. Food processing plants are also being eyed.

“There are no manufacturing firms in the Philippines making aluminum foil [for food packaging]. The Philippines imports 100 percent [of its aluminum foil]from Korea, China and other nations . . . If somebody will only produce here, it will be a big industry as well,” he said.

Last year, South Korea imported a total of $3.2 billion from the country, mostly agricultural products like fishes and vegetables.

“We don’t have much agricultural products in Korea,” Hanshinn said.

South Korea, on the other hand, shipped $4.9 billion in products to the Philippines in 2012.

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