Chinese investors visit the Philippines for the Belt and Road Initiative
A high-level Hong Kong-Shanghai joint investment mission visited the Philippines on last April 22-24, 2018 in order to explore cooperation and investment opportunities driven by the growing intra-regional cooperation in Asia, notably under the Belt and Road Initiative.
What is Belt and Road Initiative?
The Belt and Road Initiative promotes connectivity and economic cooperation among countries along the Belt and Road routes to further market integration in the region.
During the three-day Manila visit, the delegation met with local government officials of the Philippines, agencies, and business leaders to explore and discuss potential collaborations and investment opportunities between Hong Kong, Shanghai, and the Philippines.
Belt and Road facilitators: Hong Kong and Shanghai
At the event, Hong Kong’s unique advantages as a facilitator for infrastructure development and for doing business with the Chinese mainland and the rest of the world were promoted. These advantages include the city’s international network, rich talent pool, sound financial system, fair legal structure, and efficient infrastructure.
HKTDC Chairman Vincent HS Lo said the Belt and Road Initiative is bringing real opportunities and benefits to the Philippines and around the region.
“Our economic, trade and cultural ties are closer than ever with the growing outreach and exchange, such as our mission. Offering a combination of capital, professional expertise, and production capability from Hong Kong and Shanghai, they hop hope to collaborate with partners in the Philippines to turn investment opportunities into bankable ventures,” Lo said.
Developing Closer Ties
The visit of the delegation to the Philippines is just timely, as President Rodrigo Duterte has made infrastructure development a top socio-economic development priority. Under his Build, Build, Build initiative, a list of mega infrastructure projects amounting to US$160 billion is in the pipeline.
Infrastructure spending is ambitiously targeted to expand to 7 per cent by 2019. Infrastructure investment is expected to be a major economic driver in the country over the next few years. The Belt and Road Initiative can provide the much-needed infrastructure financing to partner countries.
Close economic and trade links
The Philippines was the 19th largest export market for Hong Kong in 2017. Hong Kong’s total exports to the Philippines rose 12 per cent year-on-year to US$3.6 billion.
Over the same period, Hong Kong imports from the Philippines increased by 27.6 per cent year-on-year to US$9.8 billion. Major import items were semi-conductors, electronic valves and tubes (US$6.8 billion, 69.7%), computers (US$604 million, 6.2%), and telecom equipment and parts (US$458 million, 4.7%).