The group of businessman Ramon Ang has a standing offer to develop an industrial park in Bulacan province or in Mindanao for Chinese investors, an industry executive said over the weekend.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman emeritus Francis Chua said Ang was interested in hosting the industrial park either in Bulacan where he also proposed to build an international airport, or in Mindanao where his group has vast tracts of land.
“They have the biggest lot. The [Chinese] can choose if they want it in the south or if they want it in the north,” Chua said at the sidelines of the the Philippine-China Investment Forum at Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City.
Chua said Ang was offering the 2,000-hectare lot in Bulacan province, where he proposed to develop a new international gateway and another 8,000-hectare property in Mindanao.
China Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said China was willing to invest more in the Philippines. He said Filipinos currently had more investments in China than Chinese investors had in the Philippines.
“Apart from concrete projects, we will be investing to build an industrial park in the Philippines. We are now working with Philippines authorities on this. We feel that the industrial park will boost the Philippines’ [manufacturing] capacity and create more employment,” he said.
China has eight industrial parks in Southeast Asia. Jianhao said now was the proper time to have an industrial park in the Philippines, as a show of renewed cooperation and to further strengthen trade and bilateral relations between Manila and Beijing.
“We are very confident of the future of both countries. Our bilateral trade and relations remain resilient. China, despite difficulties, remains the second biggest trading partner of the Philippines,” he said.
China canceled the Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Cooperation that was supposed to take place on Feb. 24 because of a shift in strategic leadership posts, said Chua.
The Chinese government replaced Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng with Minister Zhong Shan who would be in Manila by March to sign the JCTEC with the Philippines.
Meanwhile, China’s vice premier will visit Manila on March 18 to attend another meeting as a follow-through on the renewed cooperation between the Philippines and China.
The investment forum aims to forge stronger partnership between the two countries on various investments and business initiatives.
The Philippine panel was led by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, supported by Trade undersecretary and Board of Investments managing head Ceferino Rodolfo and representatives from the National Economic and Development Authority, International Chamber of Commerce Philippines, Philippine Silk Road International Chamber of Commerce, Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce Philippines.
The Chinese panel was headed by China Ambassador Zhao Jianhua supported by representatives from China International Contractors Association, Bank of China, China Railway Group Limited and China Communications Construction Company Limited.
China is a vital business partner for the country with significant contributions to the country’s economic growth. In 2015, China placed 14th in the list of top foreign investing countries in the Philippines, pouring in P1.45 billion worth of investments, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed.