BOI: Joint economic, trade commissions with China, Russia to back FDI inflows in PHL

MANILA-- A strengthened economic cooperation with China and Russia will support inflows of foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the Philippines, the Board of Investments (BOI) said Monday.

Last week, the Philippines and China revived its Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation (JCETC) after a five-year hiatus, resulting in commitments from China to fund infrastructure projects here and invest in various sectors like manufacturing, shipbuilding, green energy, aerospace, and agriculture, among others.

Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan visited Manila for the 28th JCETC with Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Likewise, the Philippines and Russia concluded in January a pre-inaugural meet for Joint Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation (JCTEC) in Manila.

The meeting was in preparation for President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Moscow this month, according to BOI.

The bilateral meeting, headed by Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo and Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexander Tsybulskiy, discussed possible cooperation between the two countries in areas of energy, infrastructure, science and technology, metallurgy, industry development, aerospace, tourism, electronics, information technology and business process management, agribusiness, agri-fishery, and iron and steel.

"There are good investment prospects from both new and traditional sources such as China, Japan, Russia, among others," said Rodolfo, who is also the BOI managing head.

President Duterte already had state visit to China and Japan.

Rodolfo noted that the agency was bullish to hit Php 500 billion worth of investment approvals at end-2017, coinciding the 50th founding anniversary of BOI, with more FDIs from new and traditional investment sources.

Latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed that FDI in 2016 rose 40 percent to USD7.9 billion, exceeding the government's target of USD6.7 billion.

"What further makes the Philippines attractive are plans of the Duterte administration to ramp up infrastructure spending that is seen to increase economic activities, the country's demographic dividend and high-skilled, fast-leaner workforce, and the strategic location of the country, which can serve as a gateway to the rest of the ASEAN market," Lopez said.

Source: Philippines News Agency