MANILA, Philippines — Construction works for the P500 million Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) Corporate Center and Commercial Center are set to begin simultaneously this month to host financial technology firms and other business locators.
CEZA Administrator Raul Lambino said the two buildings would be ready for occupancy by early next year to fill the demand for offices of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport’s first 26 fintech principal licensees.
He said local commercial banks and other business locators in the tourism and manufacturing sectors are also setting up offices in the Corporate Center and Commercial Center.
Read more: The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines — The construction industry is aiming to grow its contribution to the economy to P130 trillion by 2030 under its newly launched roadmap.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said under the Construction Industry Roadmap 2020 to 2030 crafted by the Department of Trade and Industry through the Construction Industry Authority of the Philippines and the Philippine Contractors Association, the industry is aiming to boost its contribution to the economy to P130 trillion from just P2.3 trillion last year.
He said the value is 325 percent larger than the P43 trillion projected growth of the industry without a roadmap.
Implementation of the roadmap, he added, would increase job opportunities for construction to seven million by 2030 from four million last year.
The roadmap launched last week seeks to ensure the sustainability of the construction industry’s growth and its competitiveness.
Read More: Philippine Star
It’s a bet on infrastructure and property stocks that has helped propel a Philippine fund to the top. And signs that President Rodrigo Duterte’s public-works program is taking off are poised to help it further.
That’s the view of Julian Tarrobago, head of equity at ATR Asset Management Inc., which has 125 billion pesos ($2.4 billion) under management. His Alpha Opportunity Fund has returned 11 percent this year, the most among Philippine equity funds, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
That’s double the advance in the Philippine Stock Exchange Index and compares with gains of about 6 percent for other securities tracking the nation’s shares such as the BDO Equity Fund or UCPB Equity Fund.
“We are finally on the cusp of an infrastructure boom,” said Tarrobago, 45, who says his market experience goes back to 1995. “Unlike in the past, when it was just a story and theoretical, projects are now materializing. This could be one of our strongest periods given the strong GDP, strengthening corporate earnings and falling inflation.”
Read more: Bloomberg
The Board of Investments (BOI) saw investment pledges it had approved in the first quarter jump by 60 percent to P243 billion from year-ago level, recovering the drop seen last February.
This is higher than the P152.1 billion reported in the same quarter a year ago, the BOI said in a statement.
The latest figure marked a quick and solid recovery from the 23-percent decline in pledges in the first two months of the year. In February alone, pledges fell by 95 percent to only P3.8 billion.
The BOI did not say how much was approved for March alone. However, it had a relatively lower base in March last year when investment registration dropped by 50.91 percent to P20.507 billion.
Domestic investments accounted for the bulk of the projects at P212.2 billion, up 40 percent from last year’s P151.3 billion. Foreign investments amounted to P30.8 billion.
“After generating a record-breaking P915 billion in approved investments last year, we are still sustaining the momentum this year due to steady, strong and positive investor sentiment here and abroad,” said Trade Secretary and BOI Chair Ramon Lopez.
“We expect the growth to continue for the rest of the year as we aim to approve at least P1 trillion in total investments,” he added.
Read more: Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — State-run Land Bank of the Philippines was named as “Asia’s Most Inclusive Bank” at the 2019 Financial Insights Innovation Awards (FIIA) by the International Data Corp., for its innovations that promoted financial inclusion in the Philippines.
Landbank said the award, given during a ceremony held recently at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center in Singapore, was conferred in recognition of the bank’s Digital Onboarding System (DOBS).
Out of 110 entries, Landbank is one of the 13 awardees and the only Philippine bank recognized in this year’s FIIA.
The DOBS is a web application launched by Landbank in 2018 to reduce the time needed to open accounts and to simplify the account enrollment process for clients.
“This project is a significant step towards streamlining our processes and making our branches more IT (information technology)-centric. DOBS will likewise play a central role in bringing our services to more unbanked and unserved areas, as we pursue our vision of promoting inclusive growth in the countryside,” said Landbank executive vice president Alan Bornas, who received the award.
Read more: The Philippine Star
Hong Kong (CNN)President Donald Trump has warned that US tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese exports are unlikely to go away anytime soon — even if the two countries reach a deal to end their trade war.
"We're not talking about removing them, we're talking about leaving them for a substantial period of time," Trump said Wednesday. "Because we have to make sure that if we do the deal with China that China lives by the deal because they've had a lot of problems living by certain deals."
The United States and China, the world's two biggest economies, are trying to negotiate a resolution to their trade dispute that escalated dramatically last year with both sides imposing new tariffs on huge portions of each other's exports.
Read more: CNN
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is among the countries in Asia Pacific that is least exposed to a fall in Chinese demand arising from the trade war between the US and China, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
In a report, the debt watcher said the Philippines may post a softer decline in gross domestic product (GDP) growth amid the weakening global output, particularly the slowdown in China.
Moody’s said the Philippines is ranked sixth least exposed to a fall in Chinese demand after Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Indonesia, while Hong Kong, Mongolia, Singapore, Vietnam and Taiwan are among the most exposed to a sustained slowdown in China.
Read more: Philippine Star
Manila, March 16 (CNA) Officials from Taiwan and the Philippines broke ground Friday on a demonstration mushroom farm in the country's Baguio City, as part of a joint collaboration aimed at helping the Southeast Asian nation gain a deeper understanding of Taiwan's agricultural development and its mushroom industry.
The project, the first of its kind to be established by the two countries, aims to assist the Philippines with its button mushroom cultivation and also to explore export opportunities for Taiwan's agricultural equipment and materials.
Read more: Focus Taiwan
Manila, March 13 (CNA) Taiwan will have to compete with China, the United States and countries in Europe if it plans to hire Filipinos as English language teachers, a Filipino-Chinese educator said recently.
The incentives to work in the U.S. are strong and include the possibility of obtaining a green card, while teacher salaries in China are also competitive, said Wilfred U. Tiu (張漢威), president of Trinity University of Asia in the Philippines.
In the U.S., Filipinos do not have to struggle with a language barrier like they do in Taiwan and many of them have relatives there, Tiu said in an interview with CNA.
He said schools in the U.S. and Europe are hiring many Filipinos to teach English, and demand is growing in the China market.
Read More: Focus Taiwan
At US$4,200, Singapore rents are among top 10 most expensive for expats in Asia – but still peanuts compared to Hong Kong’s US$11,000
Despite a fall of US$500 (S$678) in average monthly rental prices, rents paid by expatriates in Singapore are still among the top 10 highest in Asia, a study by ECA International has shown.
According to the expatriate management and human resource consultancy, the average rental price of an unfurnished, mid-market, 3-bedroom apartment in areas commonly inhabited by international executives in Singapore was US$4,215 a month in September 2018.
This is a drop of 1.3% compared to the previous year, and US$500 lower than in 2016.
“Reductions in the population of non-residents in Singapore, a key driver of rental demand, has led to continued drops in rental prices for expatriates,” said Lee Quane, regional director – Asia at ECA International.
Read More: Business Insider Singapore
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The Philippine Trade & Investment Center in Taipei is the Commercial Affairs Section of the Manila Economic and Cultural Office and the representative office of the Philippine Department of Trade & Industry in Taiwan