More Korean companies want to invest in infrastructure and energy projects in the Philippines.
Kim Young-Sun, secretary-general of the Asean Korea Center, led a delegation of 14 Korean companies that showed interest in the opportunities presented by the Philippine government during the mission.
“The Philippine economy is ripe for foreign investments,” said Board of Investments managing head Ceferino Rodolfo Ambassador, noting that now was the best time for foreign investors to take part in the growth and stability of the economy.
Deputy chief of mission of the Korean Embassy to the Philippines and minister and consul general Won-Jik Kwon cited the decision of the Korean delegates to choose the Philippines for its investment mission, saying the Southeast Asian nation was a strategic gateway to an integrated Asean market.
Kim said the Philippines had emerged as one of the most attractive investment destinations in the infrastructure and energy sectors.
He said the volume of investments in these sectors more than doubled from $18 million in 2013 to $40 million in 2014. Investments in infrastructure and energy accounted for about 40 percent of Korea’s total investment in the Philippines.
Korea is the fifth largest investor of the Philippines with interests in manufacturing, shipbuilding, retail, gaming and software development, tourism, infrastructure, agriculture, agribusiness, energy and banking and finance.
Rodolfo said the government’s expenditure on infrastructure contributed significantly to economic growth. Philippine infrastructure spending increased from 1.8 percent of the country’s gross national product in 2010 to 4.1 percent of GDP in 2015.
“The upward trend of GDP growth presents tremendous opportunities for further investments in infrastructure,” he said.
The economy posted an average growth rate of 6.2 percent in the last five years, the fastest since the 1970s. The government has projected economic growth this year at 6 percent to 7 percent.
“This is one of the means to maximize the gains from the AEC. With stable macroeconomic fundamentals, expanded market access, and advances in infrastructure and human capital development, we gain leverage to position the Philippines as a manufacturing hub to service the ASEAN market,” Rodolfo said.
The AEC, formally established in December 31, 2015, aims to create a single market and production base with free movement of goods, services and investments across the 10 Asean member countries. Southeast Asia is one of the fastest growing regions with a combined population of 600 million people and a GDP of more than $6.2 trillion.