RM2b projects with Philippines on the cards

12-Nov-2016 Intellasia | AFP | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Malaysia-Philippine business ties are set to go full throttle following President Rodrigo Duterte’s inaugural visit.

Philippine Trade and Industry minister Ramon M. Lopez told reporters after a roundtable meeting with International Trade and Industry minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed both countries stood to gain enormously on economic cooperation.

“Infrastructure is an area which we hope to draw from Malaysia’s extensive experience. We are building several ‘mini Putrajayas’ or government administrative areas in five of our 80 provinces,” Lopez said.

“We would also like to tap into your building capacity when it comes to roads and rail networks,” he said, adding some RM2 billion in projects were on the cards.

Lopez said other areas of interest were in tourism, agriculture, franchise businesses and the development of halal products for both domestic consumption and export.

“In the Asean region, there is a market for over 200 million Muslims, especially in Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, to tap into. The halal industry is estimated at RM12 trillion per annum and Asean represents a significant portion of that figure,” he said.

“The halal value chain in the Philippines can be strengthened especially in slaughterhouses, third party poultry growers, food processing and Zamboanga City Economic Zone, which was launched in 2014, will provide a platform for these products.”

Lopez also said security was not the only area of cooperation between the two countries and that Duterte’s visit would show the Philippines was a booming trade and investment economy.

“We have more to talk about than security. We have existing trade agreements with Malaysia and would like to build upon our business relationship in addition to security issues,” he said.

Lopez also assured Malaysian private sector players that administrative hurdles would be dealt with immediately.

“Our president has said he would look into any hang-ups in your ability to do your job. He will personally look into your complaints personally on any issue of security or corruption,” he said.

The country is Malaysia’s fifth largest trading partner in the Asean pact and the 10th largest globally.

Between January and August, Malaysia-Philippine trade increased to RM13.5 billion compared to RM12.48 billion during the same period last year.



Category: Philippines

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