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Malaysian investors seen keen on southern Philippines
Publication Date : 06-03-2014
Malaysian investors are expected to start exploring investment opportunities in Mindanao - particularly in the banking, palm oil and rubber plantations, infrastructure and tourism industries - following the successful business mission held alongside the state visit of President Aquino to Malaysia last week.
Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said these Malaysian investors made their interest known during a high-level meeting attended by about 20 company CEOs and executives and at a much larger investor forum attended by about 200 Malaysian businessmen.
Malaysian companies that have existing businesses in the Philippines have likewise expressed interest to further expand their existing operations and to look into new potential opportunities.
According to Domingo, the Philippine delegation held one-on-one meetings with three groups, such as Maybank, Malaysia’s biggest bank; Genting Berhad, the firm that brought the Resorts World franchise to Manila, and Air Asia.
“Maybank said it would continue with its expansion plans in the Philippines. We are now trying to invite them to look at Shariah banking (Islamic) in the Philippines and its officials said they would look at it. We also invited Maybank to organize a high level business delegation to visit the Philippines to look at possible investment opportunities,” Domingo explained.
“Air Asia also announced direct flights to Kalibo, but we’re inviting them to have more direct flights to the Philippines outside of the Naia and so they are looking at that. Air Asia indicated they were considering a few areas now and we asked them to take a look at the Kuala Lumpur-Davao link so we’ll have direct flights to Mindanao,” he further disclosed.
“With Genting, we thanked them for their investments in the Philippines and for sending some of their cruise ships to pass by the Philippines in 2013. A request was also made to make the Philippines one of the stops in some of their cruises. We also requested them to take a look at doing an all-Philippine cruise or an all Philippine islands tour,” the trade chief said.
According to Domingo, there is a particular emphasis on Mindanao because the bigger opportunities for such types of investments can be found there.