The Philippines-Singapore Business Council (PSBC), led by Chairman Guillermo Luchangco, remains unfazed by the situation down south, particularly the ongoing siege of Marawi City.
“There’s a strong drive to be open for business,” PSBC Co-Chairman Loh Chin Hua said during the Philippines-Singapore Business Council Conference at the Fairmont Hotel on Thursday, August 3.
Delegates from Keppel Philippines Holdings Inc., IE Singapore, Electronic Security Systems Corporation (ESSCOR), DP Architects took part in the conference.
The vision is to promote stronger Philippine-Singapore business relations and to share business best practices in the hope that the Philippines would be likened to Singapore’s forward-thinking and progressive economic stance.
Luchangco noted the interest in expanding networks is to help the Philippines improve its infrastructure.
He emphasized that the current situation in Marawi was not a deterrent for Singapore to expand businesses in the Philippines. “Marawi is just one area and will not affect all other business ventures even in Davao,” Luchangco said.
DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investment Promotion Nora K. Terrado, who presented the Philippines as a reliable partner in value, was peppered with questions on martial law in Marawi.
“This is not about martial law, not about Marawi,” she said and continued to present the streamlined vision of
business ventures with the Duterte administration’s Industrial 2040.
The PSBC has aligned some of its objectives with the principles of equal opportunity and woman empowerment through human capital development.
Singapore is one of the Philippines’ strongest trading partners with total trade of $9.3 billion in 2016, of which $3.8 billion were Philippine exports—particularly electronic products valued at $3.3 billion.
The Philippines and Singapore are founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), a regional block with a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion.
Bopeep C. Espiritu