China exploring more investment opportunities in ASEAN

MANILA--Ninety-five Chinese investors will attend the 12th ASEAN FINANCE Ministers' Investors Seminar (AFMIS)in Cebu on Thursday to explore more business opportunities in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philipines.

Bank of China (BOC), the world's fourth largest bank, brought the 95 investors in the country with around 140 delegates attending the AFMIS.

This is the first time for BOC to join the ASEAN investment seminar.

BOC's delegation include BOC Group's Chairman Tian Gouli and Executive Vice President Gao Yingxin as well as BOC Hong Kong Ltd. Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Yue Yi.

We are doing our business in ASEAN countries. So, our participation in the seminar is to demonstrate our confidence to developing the business in ASEAN and also support the economy of the region, said BOC Country Head Deng Jun in a briefing here Tuesday.

Deng said that the investors were in the sectors of financials, trade, infrastructure, and e-commerce.

He added it was also an opportune time for Chinese investors to attend the AFMIS as the country hosted the said ASEAN seminar.

Obviously, this is a good time for Chinese investors, companies to know the Philippines, Deng said.

He said among the challenges of Chinese investors to set up their businesses in the Philippines include the lacking of knowledge in doing business in the country and finding the right local partner.

He noted that most of the Chinese investors attending the AFMIS have no presence yet in the Philippines, but are already operating in other ASEAN countries.

Obviously they would like to invest in the Philippines, Deng stressed.

If you see the GDP (gross domestic product) rate of the country, almost 7.0 percent; maybe higher next year. And so, this is a great opportunity for the Chinese investors to do business in the Philippines, he said.

Aside from the robust economic growth, Deng said that Chinese companies were looking into opportunities in infrastructure requirements in the country as well as the booming e-commerce.

Data from the ASEAN Statistics Division (ASEANstats) show that Chinese investment inflows to ASEAN in 2015 reached USD8.2 billion, increasing from USD6.4 billion in 2013 and USD7.0 billion in 2014.

In 2015, Myanmar and the Philippines received the least investments from China amounting to USD52 million and USD59 million, respectively.

In the same year, China invested USD5.6 billion in Singapore, USD665 million in Lao PDR, USD538 million in Cambodia, USD381 million in Vietnam, USD322 million in Indonesia, USD305 million in Thailand, and USD275 million in Malaysia.

Source: Philippines News Agency