With the opening of Taiwan Trade Center’s (TTC) 60th overseas office in Manila last week, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) expects robust trade and investment flow with Taiwan.
“The bilateral trade and investment relations of our countries, and our economies have been growing through the years,” DTI Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo said during the opening ceremony of the TTC in Manila at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City.
Taiwan is the Philippines’ sixth trading partner, fifth import source, and 11th export destination. In 2012, bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to $6.8 billion. Philippine exports to Taiwan amounted $2 billion and imports from Taiwan stood at $5 billion. For the first semester of 2013, bilateral trade amounted to $3.1 billion, and Philippine imports from Taiwan totaled $2.3 billion.
Total Taiwanese investments in the Philippines amounted to P2.5 billion in 2012, and P1.1 billion for the first half of 2013.
Manalo noted that the Philippines sees Taiwan as an important trading partner. This is evidenced by bilateral trade figures as well as prospects shown by the specific drivers supporting the Philippines’ recent gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
He also mentioned that in November, the Philippines hosted the Philippines-Taiwan Joint Economic Conference, and one of the important outputs of this event is the signing of the letter of intent (LOI) between Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions and Taiwan External Trade Development Council for trade promotion cooperation.
“With this LOI, both institutions will work more closely and identify specific projects for cooperation,” Manalo said.
“With the support of TTC in Manila, more and more Taiwanese businessmen will get to appreciate the Philippines, our domestic market, the countless business opportunities that we offer, and the benefits of our close linkages into the rest of Asean market,” Manalo said, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Dr. Chih-Kang Wang, chairman of TTC, said that the opening of the TTC in Manila will reinforce Taiwan’s economic ties with the Philippines. Taiwan sees the Philippines as source of abundant young labor and natural resources.
Wang also expressed condolences to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) and led the formal handing of TTC’s $120,000 donation to the Filipino people.
TTC is regarded as the foremost nonprofit trade promotion organization in Taiwan. It assists Taiwanese businesses and manufacturers in enhancing their competitiveness in foreign markets.