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Philippines
Monday, June 17, 2024

PH asked to attract Taiwanese firms moving out of China

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The Philippines should compete with other Southeast Asian nations in attracting thousands of Taiwanese firms moving out of China, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines (TECO) Representative Wallace Minn-Gan Chow said Monday.

“There are thousands of Taiwanese firms in China now looking at Southeast Asia,” Chow said in a luncheon meeting with Manila Standard editors in Makati City.

He said the political tension between the US and China was forcing several Taiwanese companies which are major suppliers to American companies to relocate to other countries, particularly Southeast Asia.

Chow said to attract these companies, the Philippine government should consider enhancing its set of incentives offered to foreign investors, resolve the issue of double taxation, reduce the power rates charged on industrial users and introduce the visa waiver program for Taiwanese travelers.

“The avoidance of double taxation will increase the potential of the Philippines as investment destination,” he said.

Josephine Shun, director of TECO’s economic division, said there are about 600 Taiwanese companies with presence in the Philippines. She said among the biggest investors are the Kinpo Group and the Tipo Hightech Eco Park in Subic Bay Freeport.

Chow said Taiwan, one of the closest neighbors of the Philippines, ranked only eighth among the top investors in Philippine economic zones. Taiwan is also not among the biggest tourism markets for the Philippines.

“We want the Philippines to reciprocate with the visa-free program for Taiwanese travelers. Issuing the visa waiver program is much better. The gain for tourism would be immense,” he said.

“Last year, there were 300,000 Filipinos who went to Taiwan visa-free, but there were much fewer Taiwanese visitors to the Philippines,” he said.

Taiwan earlier extended for another year its visa-free entry policy for the Philippines until July 31, 2024. “It is my wish to renew the visa-free program for Filipinos,” said Chow.

Chow said there are now 120 flights between Philippine and Taiwanese cities to accommodate the travel demand between the two countries.

Chow said he also wanted to strengthen the agricultural ties between the two countries. TECO recently opened a demonstration farm in Barangay Sapang Maragul, Tarlac City to train Filipinos on modern farming. It also plans to send 100 young Filipino farmers to train in Taiwan for 11 months.

Chow also said Taiwan donated this month 2,000 metric tons of rice to the Philippines to help typhoon victims.

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