Foreign firms seen relocating to Phl

May 19, 2014 at 14:58

Foreign firms seen relocating to Phl

By Louella D. Desiderio (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 13, 2014 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Several foreign manufacturing companies operating in China and in Southeast Asian countries are eyeing to relocate to the Philippines citing the available high-quality labor here, the Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP) said.

In a statement from the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc., FOBAP president Robert Young said two French investors are coming to Manila by the end of the month, while a number of Canadian, Chinese and American companies are visiting the country in mid-May to scout for investment opportunities.

Young said these are mid-sized manufacturers of garments, apparel, shoes, toys and housewares looking to invest around $500 million and employ 1,000 to 3,000 workers.

“These people are financially capable, they are ready, they mean business, they are serious… We are lucky if we get at least 10 initially from all parts of China and other ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries,” he said.

Companies are moving out of China amid increasing labor unrest resulting in reduced labor pool, as well as higher capital costs.

“They went to other ASEAN countries but they do not like (it there)…They used to be buying from Manila. They know that Filipinos are really good in skill, quality control and workmanship. So this is actually our number one attraction,” Young said.

The group is looking forward to the country becoming a beneficiary of the European Union’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (EU GSP+) citing that such will make the country an attractive and cheaper source of goods.

The Department of Trade and Industry submitted the Philippines’ application to the EU GSP+, a scheme which will allow more goods to enter the bloc at zero duty, in December.

The EU GSP+ covers 6,274 products which can enter the EU at zero duty.

At present, the Philippines is a beneficiary of the regular GSP, which covers 6,209 products, with 2,442 products subject to zero duty and the rest slapped with lower tariffs.

“Philippine goods will be duty free entry to EU. Also, (with) the forthcoming incentivized/subsidized labor, this makes investments in the Philippines attractive,” Young said.

By having new investments here, Young said FOBAP members which source products for foreign buyers, will have more factories and suppliers to choose from.

“Right now, we are running out of suppliers because in the past five years, they closed shops one by one. If they will come back, our own business will also flourish together with the Philippine economy,” he added.



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