SEIZING the economic opportunity made possible by the recent fisheries law agreement between Taiwan and the Philippines, Taiwanese aquaculture feeds manufacturer Grobest Feeds Inc. on Wednesday launched a $22-million plant in Gerona, Tarlac.
“This is a reflection of the successful signing of the Taiwan-Philippines agreement on law enforcement cooperation in fisheries matters,” Gary Song-Huann, representative of the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines, said in a statement.
The Agreement Concerning the Facilitation of Cooperation on Law Enforcement is expected to reduce the fisheries dispute between the two countries. The pact aims to protect the rights and interests of Taiwanese fishermen operating legally.
Song-Huann said Grobest has chosen the best location with Luzon being the largest and most prosperous island in the Philippines.
He also recognized the Philippines’ growing population and labor force.
“The Philippines’ population already exceeded a hundred million. Among them, half of them are young people. They are very eager to work,” he said.
Song-Huann said with the Philippines’ robust economic growth, the country is a very fitting location to expand its operations in.
“The domestic market of the Philippines is huge,” he noted.
The Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 7.2 percent and 6.1 percent in 2013 and 2014 respectively, according to data from the National Economic Development Authority.
Grobest Philippines chairman An-Hung Chuang said the Philippines’ high economic growth, government efficiency, reasonable financing rate and other favorable conditions will help the development of aquaculture.
Grobest International chairman Robert Chen said Grobest is investing in the country because of its sufficient raw materials and unlimited market potential.
“With our technology and experience in aquaculture, we believe we could help the farmers’ development in the Philippines,” he said.
Benjamin Tabios, assistant director at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, said Grobest will be able to participate in generating economic activities.
“We need investments like this. You know why? Because in the agricultural sector, they’re saying that we need feeds. And Grobest will produce the feeds for us,” Tabios said.