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Singapore firms to tp agri, retail trade in Philippines

Publication Date : 07-04-2014


Encouraged by the Philippine economy’s robust growth, Singaporean companies are now keen on tapping investment opportunities in the country’s agriculture, retail and infrastructure industries.

On the sidelines of the Philippines Singapore Business Council meeting last week, Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo said the arrival of the foreign business delegation led by Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam was a “sign of the growing relationship … between the Philippines and Singapore.”

And the establishment of the International Enterprise Singapore office in Manila indicates that the Singaporean firms, “are coming to do bigger things here in the Philippines,” Domingo said.

The agency assists Singaporean companies in investing overseas.

According to Domingo, the country’s trade with Singapore is already quite huge, as the latter is already the Philippines’ fifth-largest trading partner with trade totaling $8 billion.

“We will try to continue to grow trade, but there are natural limitations because Singapore has a small domestic market. There are bigger opportunities in investments, which have become two-way already because some of the Philippine companies, like Jollibee and the Ayala Group, have already put up offices and invested in Singapore,” he said.

“Big companies in the Philippines are becoming more confident in investing overseas because they have better capitalization, have more access to liquidity and have better management skills,” the trade chief further said.

In a statement, International Enterprise Singapore noted that more Singaporean companies now consider the Philippines to be “an upcoming growth market.”
Tony Chew, chair of Singapore Business Federation (SBF) was quoted in the IE statement as saying that “as more and more Singapore companies seek trade and investment opportunities in the fast growing Philippines market, I am certain that our chamber-to-chamber relations will strengthen and become a key success factor for our Singapore companies.

Singapore Business Federation “looks forward to organizing more activities to increase Singapore’s engagement with the Philippines,” Chew said.

In the same statement, Tan Soon Kim, Assistant Chief Executive Officer of IE Singapore said that “the Philippines’ economic resurgence is driven by robust growth in domestic demand, strong infrastructure spending and structural economic reforms. This has led to renewed investor interest. It is timely for Singapore companies looking to diversify their presence in the region, to look at this market anew for opportunities commensurate with the needs of the market, including infrastructure and urban solution demands, complemented by a sizable consumer base.”


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