Taiwanese firms are establishing a new industrial estate in Clark Freeport as their economic zone in Subic has already run out of space with more Taiwanese companies investing in the country.
Michael P. Y. Hsu, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office representative to Manila, told Manila Bulletin Business at the launch of the Yulon Finance Philippines Corp. that Taiwanese investors are still looking for location in Clark although some investors have already sited their factories in Cavite.
“We expect more Taiwanese firms to invest in the Philippines this year,” said Hsu noting that Taiwan investments in 2017 reached more than P10.83 billion.
Hsu said Taiwanese businessmen prefer Clark because there is no traffic and is conveniently situated.
“Actually we have to trace back to 1990s when we started encouraging Taiwanese firms to come to invest inside the Subic Bay Industrial Park, which was developed by Taiwanese firms. Now, we have more than 40 factories in their but the land is no longer enough so we’re trying to look in Clark,” he said.
Similar with its Subic ecozone, the planned new industrial ecozone in Clark will also be funded by Taiwanese investors.
Already, two companies have invested in Cavite with combined investments of $30 million. These are Taiton Solar Panel, which is producing solar panels for the local market, and Taishan Gas, which industrial gas production is expected to start this year to supply to the domestic market. Each firm invested $15 million.
On top of that, there are already 8 Taiwanese banks that have established their branches in the country. The latest Taiwanese bank was Chang Hwa Bank Commercial Bank Ltd. of Taiwan, which he said invested $40 million.
“We are expecting more Taiwanese firms to come as they learned from other companies that are already here,” he added. The latest investor is Yulon Group, which brought in $50 million for its car financing business in the country. Hsu also cited the economic benefits of the lifting of visa for Filipinos traveling to Taiwan. The extended 15-day visa-free entry is, however, up to July 31, 2019 only.
Hsu noted that the visa waiver is kind of reciprocal on both countries but Taiwanese are still required to get Philippine visa.
“We hope that the Philippines will also gradually consider visa waiver to our nationals. We are doing it first to show our goodwill,” he said.
Already, the visa-free granted to Filipinos has benefited both countries. There are 290,000 Filipino tourists who visited Taiwan in 2017, but there were 300,000 Taiwanese visitors to the Philippines last year. As of July this year, there were roughly 350,000 Filipinos who went to Taiwan.
By: Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat, September 2, 2018
Source: Manila Bulletin
Photo: Manila Bulletin
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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