President’s visit to boost trade between PH, Malaysia

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President Benigno Aquino 3rd arrives at the Bunga Raya Complex of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Thursday. His state visit aims to strengthen ties between the Philippines and Malaysia. Malacañang photo

President Benigno Aquino 3rd arrives at the Bunga Raya Complex of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Thursday. His state visit aims to strengthen ties between the Philippines and Malaysia. Malacañang photo

KUALA LUMPUR: President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s two-day state visit here could prop up business and trade for the Philippines and Malaysia, Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya said.

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Malaya said they are excited about the President’s meeting with the Malaysian business community today, which will give him the opportunity and platform to engage the Malaysian businessmen.

“Their [Malaysians] investment in the Philippines has been considerable. In fact, in 2011, Malaysian investments in the Philippines constituted 22 percent of foreign direct investments for that year,” Malaya said.

Among the Malaysian companies already operating in the Philippines are Shangri-La Hotel, Resorts World, Air Asia, Burjaya, Maybank, and AlloyMTD.

Maybank is increasing its branches in the Philippines by 20 this year. AlloyMTD on the other hand is the construction company that rehabilitated the South Luzon expressway two years ago.

Genting Berhad, the parent company of Resorts World is increasing its Philippine holdings by 100 percent as it opens Resorts World complex in Manila Bay. This complex, called Resorts World Nation, is an addition to its existing property near the airport—the Resorts World Manila.

“So there has been significant business engagement between Malaysian businesses and Philippine businesses. This gives us excitement . . . the increasing number of Philippine companies operating here,” Malaya said.

Philippine companies which are active in Malaysia include Robina Corp., Motolite Batteries, Pancake House and Yellowcab.

Malaysian companies are noticing the Philippines because of its unprecedented economic growth taking place as well as its huge population, which could be a significant consumer market for them, Malaya said. The Philippines has the second biggest population in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

PNA

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1 Comment

  1. Samuel Andrews on

    Ah, no wonder traffic was bad in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. All cars had to make way for the President and his entourage.

    Malaysians have high regard for Benigno Aquino (as opposed to the last two Presidents) compared to the indecisive PM Najib and the antics of publicity-seeking wife Rosmah.

    The only Philippine company that has a notable brand in Malaysia is Petron, with numerous petrol stations in KL. But breaking into Malaysian highly-regulated petrol retail industry is a real breakthrough, when Malaysian government had disallowed other players from Norway, Kuwait, Brazil to come in.

    Take note that the Malaysians realized their country is small and has low population base. As far as Malaysian companies are concerned, they are happy to invest in their neighbours who have high population base (Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Philippines). More population means more money. On the other hand, foreigners who invest in Malaysia may not be able to reap the same investment return because of matured market, low population base and already competitive environment.