TAIWAN: Metrobank’s First Metro Investment Corporation urged Taiwanese businessmen to set up businesses in the Philippines in order to take advantage of opportunities under the government’s “Build Build Build” program. “Taiwan is the third largest foreign investor in the Philippines and our trade links with Taiwan are getting more robust each day. A number of growth industries are proving to be very good investment propositions for investors looking for profitable offshore ventures. In President Duterte’s Golden Age of Infrastructure, four sectors have taken stage: cement, power, utilities, and logistics,” FMIC President Rabboni Francis Arjonillo said in a statement over the weekend. FMIC recently held a forum in Taiwan in partnership with Metrobank, Taiwan Academy for Banking & Finance, Taiwan External Trade Development Council and the Taiwan-ASEAN Business Council, with the aim of promoting the Philippines as one of the most dynamic economies and investment destinations in Asia. Arjonillo noted that the cement industry was projected to see 13 percent demand growth until the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term. He said that 12 million metric tons of additional capacity will be added in 2020 to complement the demand growth. He also noted that Aboitiz Power, one of the biggest country’s power generators, was looking to double its energy capacity to 4,000 megawatts over three years from the current 2,000 MW. “Taiwanese investors can take advantage of these opportunities and First Metro will be more than happy to assist them,” Arjonillo said.
Taiwan is one the country’s biggest trading partners with exports to Taiwan amounting to $2.13 billion and imports amounting to $5.18 billion last year, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Foreign direct investment inflows in 2016 amounted to $7.9 billion, an indication of investor confidence and optimism on the Philippines’ prospects, the DTI said. “On the heels of the New Southbound policy initiative of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, the forum also served as a platform for Taiwanese institutional investors to explore emerging developments and investment opportunities in the Philippines, including the highly sought after infrastructure projects,” Arjonillo said. “The forum was likewise intended to help Taiwanese set up businesses in the Philippines and better understand the Philippine market in order for them to plan and develop their business strategy ahead of time,” Arjonillo added.