The Philippines said it welcomes potential investments from China particularly in the key growth drivers of the economy such as manufacturing, logistics and infrastructure, tourism, agribusiness as well as power generation.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said that the country’s bilateral trade with China has risen tremendously over the past four years.
“We don’t discriminate against any nationality. The sectors that we are pushing are the key growth drivers. As long as these investors comply with our laws, there is no problem,” Balisacan, who is also the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general said during The Manila Times Business Forum dubbed as “Business As Usual In Unusual Times” held in Makati City on Wednesday.
“China is a major economy, it’s a big country, a major global player. Our country is connected to China directly or indirectly through a global supply chain,” he said.
“Nobody can ignore this kind of relationship with this highly globalized economy. We are connected,” Balisacan added.
With about $10 billion in 2010, China’s total trade with the Philippines in 2013 reached about $15 billion. For the first seven months of the year, China’s total trade with the Philippines stood at about $P10 billion, he added.
In terms of foreign direct investments (FDI), Balisacan said China FDI in the Philippines rose to P9.6 million in the first half of 2014 from only P1.9 million in 2012.
“Over the last four years, things have been changing, there’s a lot of interest. Statements from Chinese speakers from this forum show that investors from China are looking at the Philippines,” he said.
The challenge for the country, according to Balisacan, is to keep the momentum for reform and growth.
“We should build the reputation that our country can sustain its growth. We know what has pulled us down before. We know our constraints,” he said.
In this regard, the government has been working to address constraints like poor infrastructure, regulatory policies and corruption, he concluded.