Philippines announces that Malaysia remains as one of its top trading partners and investment sources


KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 (Bernama): Malaysia remains one of the top trading partners and investment sources of the Philippines, its Secretary of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Ramon M. Lopez said.

He said despite the pandemic, Malaysian companies’ interest to invest or expand their current businesses in the Philippines remain strong.

"In 2020, Malaysia is ranked as the 10th trading partner of the Philippines, with balance of trade in the favour of Malaysia. In terms of investment, Malaysia was the 12th source of IPA-approved investments, registering a growth of 43.90 per cent from previous year.

"And this year (Jan to June 2021), Malaysia is placed as the 6th source of FDI (foreign direct investment),” the Philippine Trade and Investment Centre Kuala Lumpur (PTIC-KL) quoted him as saying in a recorded keynote message at the virtual Second Philippine Investment Forum for Malaysia held on Thursday.

According to the statement from PTIC-KL, Lopez assured that the Philippines is open for business, and expressed gratitude to Malaysia for its continued confidence and interest to invest in the Philippines.

He also encouraged more investments from Malaysia in five priority industries - manufacturing, agribusiness, services, infrastructures and construction, and energy.

The statement said that the Philippines also encourged Malaysian investments in halal-specific sectors, from food and beverage companies to Islamic banks.

"Malaysian companies are invited to invest in the Philippines to further grow the Halal industry and serve the Muslim (as much as 10 to 12 million Filipinos) and non-Muslim population.

"It was reported that an investment from Malaysia worth US$130 million, covering some sectors above, has been recently committed,” it added.

Meanwhile, it quoted Commerical Attache at the PTIC-KL Katrina Banzon as saying that the Philippines had received US$1.66 billion worth of Investment Promotion Agency (IPA)-approved investments from Malaysia between 2018 and 2020 in the five priority industries.

The forum was part of the one-day Philippine Investment Forum 2021, held to promote the Philippines as an ideal investment destination and partner for companies in Malaysia.

Among the highlights at the forum were on the Philippines Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) as a one-stop and non-stop shop for investors.

It added that a presentation on the recently-enacted tax and incentives regime under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE Act) of 2021, which lowers the Corporate Income Tax to 25 per cent and bestows the President power to grant customised incentives for big ticket investments, had also drawn interest from participants.

The Philippine Investment Forum 2021 was organised by the PTIC KL and Philippines Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) in collaboration with the the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry in Kuala Lumpur and the Embassy of Malaysia in Manila.

The event was well-attended by potential investors and strategic partners, including government officials, company executives and private sector representatives from Malaysia and other countries in the region, the statement said. - Bernama
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