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23 February 2009

RP-Taiwan meet inks four accords, launches incentives for Clark, Subic investors - MECO

Antonio Basilio, Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco) managing director and resident representative, said among the highlights of the 16th RP-Taiwan Joint Economic Conference (JEC) held recently was the signing of four major trade and investment agreements between the Philippines and Taiwan.

These are a memorandum of understanding on Philippine-Taiwan Cooperation on Industrial Technology Development; an MoU on Small and Medium Enterprise Food Development; an MoU on Intellectual Property Cooperation; and an MoU on Standardization and Conformity Assessment for Electronic Products.

At the luncheon meeting hosted by the Philippine delegation headed by Trade Secretary Peter Favila, an entirely new set of investment incentives uniquely packaged and formulated to meet the evolving requirements of Taiwan’s high-technology companies was launched.

The package includes unprecedented incentives for Taiwanese companies, and presented various development opportunities within the Clark and Subic Bay economic corridor. The package is designed to compete with current offerings by the Vietnam government to Taiwanese players.

“This set of incentives, never before offered to any foreign locator in the Clark-Subic economic corridor, is also designed to fill existing gaps in the Philippines’ electronics and information and communications technology (ICT) value chain,” said Basilio.

Basilio said another highlight of the JEC was the holding of the 21st Joint Meeting of the Chinese-Philippines and the Philippine-Chinese Business Council, while the Philippine Investment Seminar was held on Feb. 11, organized by the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Meco.

Clement Yang, chairman of the Chinese-Philippine Business Council, delivered the opening remarks while Valentin Khoe of the Philippine-Chinese Business Council provided the response during the event.

Chairman Tomas Alcantara of Meco and PCCI chairman Miguel Varela also delivered their remarks during the affair.

Basilio said the plenary session and seminar proper focused on a number of investment opportunities including high-yield tourism, investing in the Philippine economic corridor, the RP-Taiwan ICT industry collaborative ventures, sectoral investment opportunities, and renewable energy.

Tourism Undersecretary Phineas Alburo gave his presentation on investment opportunities in the Philippine tourism development together with Philip Chao, deputy director of the International Affairs of the Tourism Bureau of Taiwan ’s Ministry of Transportation.

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Armand Arreza presented the Master Plan of Development in the Subic Bay Free Port while Benigno Ricafort, president of Clark Development Corp. (CDC), delved on the Master Plan of Development in the Clark Free Port.

Meanwhile, on the topic of RP-Taiwan ICT Industry Collaborative Ventures, Arthur Young, chairman of the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines gave an overview of the Philippine electronics and semiconductor industry while Dr. Gwo-Jiunn Huang, fellow of Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry, focused his presentation on the ICT industry.

Discussions on Exploring Sectoral Investment Opportunities particularly on aqualculture and agriculture were spearheaded by Philip Ong, president of Santeh Feeds Corp., and Dr. Cheng-Wei Chen, associate professor of the Department of Agriculture Economics, College of Bio-Resources and Agriculture, National Taiwan University.

For renewable energy, Felix Velasquez, president of Bataan Manufacturing Co. Inc. and Phillip Cheng, president of Cosmo Electronics Corp., spoke about investment prospects in the country.

An open forum followed the presentations after which Vice Minister Sheng-Chung Lin of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Secretary Favila gave their closing remarks. (PNA)

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