About 200 Korean companies have expressed interest to invest or expand current operations in the Philippines, especially in the automotive, electronics and agriculture sectors.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, prior to the conclusion of a four-day trade mission to Korea, said Phoenix Semiconductors Philippines Corp. had committed to invest another $100 million to expand production over the next few years.
“Phoenix is expanding but they do not want any public announcement. My estimate is that they are going to add another $100 million to support their expanding operations in Clark, where it is located,” Lopez said.
The additional investment will support the company’s program to add 1,000 employees in its workforce at least until 2018.
Other investors are also considering expanding operations in the Philippines beyond the banking sector given the strong growth of Philippine economy and consumer sector.
“They expressed confidence in the political will of the Duterte leadership in bringing back peace and security, discipline, infrastructure and human capital development, developing innovative and inclusive industries and MSMEs, that will build and protect investments in the Philippines,” Lopez said.
He said Korean interest in the Philippines had increased significantly when the new administration took over.
The Philippine delegation, Lopez said, visited big companies like Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Hyundai Motor Co. and Korean Electric Power Corp..
The Philippines offered opportunities in the development of the electric motor vehicle industry.
In a separate meeting, Lopez said the CEOs and high level officials of major Korean companies cited their interest to expand existing operations in Philippines while looking for new projects.
They are interested in energy, especially renewable energy projects, infrastructure and public-private partnership, retail and fast moving consumer goods, tourism and real estate development, finance and insurance, food and agribusiness.
“They appreciated the chance to learn more about the strategic direction of the current Duterte administration and how this will impact their business plans. Discussions covered trade and industry programs, investment policies, regional development, agriculture and MSMEs,” said Lopez.
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