UAP joins Philippine trade and investment mission to Turkey to boost trade, economic cooperation

February 9, 2018 | By: UAP Keeping You Posted; Department of Trade and Industry

The United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) through its National President, Architect Guillermo H. Hisancha joined the Philippine trade and investment mission to Turkey which involves executives from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine-Turkish Business Council, Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc., Malabon Longlife Trading Corp., Megawide Airports Group & GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp., Philippine Food Service Equipment & Supplies, and Great Crescent Flour Corp.

Co-organized by the Board of Investments (BOI) through the International Investments Promotion Service, Philippine Trade & Investment Centers (PTICs) in Paris and Berlin (with jurisdiction on Turkey and Hungary, respectively), and the Philippine Embassies in Ankara and Budapest, the Mission is in conjunction with the inaugural Philippine-Turkey Joint Committee for Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation (PH-TR JCTEC) on February 6, 2018 in Ankara, Turkey. The Framework Cooperation agreement with Turkey was signed in 1999, but the talks have not advanced.

It may be recalled that following President Duterte’s vision to diversify and strengthen the country’s trade and investment relationship with other countries, the Philippines (PH) has revived the Joint Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation with Turkey, followed by a series of fora with ministerial and business chambers in Hungary. The Trade & Investment Mission was led by DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, from February 5 to 9, 2018, which aims to promote as well the exports of more Philippine products to both markets and attract Turkish and Hungarian investors to do business and establish their operations in the country.

“The Philippines' engagement with Turkey and Hungary is in line with the current Administration’s strategy of rebalancing investment and trade relations with non-traditional partners through the pursuit of an independent foreign policy. With the country’s solid economic fundamentals built on the upbeat confidence of investors on the Duterte administration’s reforms and programs to create sustainable growth, we are positive of getting more investments from our foreign economic partner countries such as Turkey and Hungary as we continue to promote the country as a prime investment destination,” said Sec. Lopez.

For the Turkey leg, the delegation will promote construction; manufacturing particularly automotive, electronics, shipbuilding, and aerospace; Halal products; coconut products; personal care and IT Business Process Management, including creatives services—all of which were determined based on the existing priority sectors for trade and investment to Turkey validated by the Turkish Embassy in Manila and PTIC Paris and the Philippine Embassy Ankara.

The BOI represented by Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo, and Turkey’s Prime Ministry Investment Support & Promotion Agency represented by Vice President Mustafa Rumeli, are set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on exchanging information on investment environment and opportunities and sharing of experiences in attracting foreign investments as well as best practices in investments promotion.

The MOU also encourages interested local companies in setting up or expanding their businesses in the area of both participants, and provide support to facilitate inward investment to the extent possible under both parties’ respective laws and policies.

Meanwhile, for the Hungary leg, the delegation will meet with its counterpart led by Minister Peter Szijjarto, promote manufacturing particularly the sub-sectors of machineries, medical devices, automotive parts, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, food and agri-business; infrastructure; and shared services.

The two countries represented by Secretary Lopez and Minister Szijjarto agreed to pursue cooperation in said sectors during the Philippines-Hungarian Economic Cooperation Agreement held last March 28, 2017 in Manila.

Turkey and Hungary are minimal sources of foreign investments in the PH. On the trade side, in 2016, Hungary ranked as the PH’s 40th trading partner, 26th export market, and 64th import supplier. Turkey on the other hand was the country’s 45th trading partner, 45th export market, and 43rd import supplier.

 

PH, TURKEY SIGN INVESTMENT PROMOTION, AGRICULTURE COOPERATION AGREEMENTS AT THE 1ST JCETC

 

ANKARA – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez led a delegation to Turkey to convene the first Philippine (PH)-Turkey Joint Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (JCETC) as well as the signing of Summary of Discussions covering trade, investment promotions, and economic cooperation on 5-6 February 2018.

“The Philippines is committed to pursue several growth opportunities by strengthening partnerships with emerging economic partners like Turkey,” said Sec. Lopez.

The PH trade chief and his JCETC counterpart, Turkey’s National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli, who is the Minister designated to represent their government in this meeting, discussed various areas of trade and investment cooperation on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); manufacturing such as textiles and garments, pharmaceuticals, agri-processing for mango, coconut, banana; hotels and tourism; infrastructure; air services; customs; energy; science and technology; education; standardization; film and creatives; defense; contracting and consultancy services.

They offer to buy products PH can export to Turkey and shall venture with Filipino partners to manufacture the needed products, such as in textiles and pharmaceuticals. They also offer to provide interest-free financial assistance for any project critical to the country’s development as well as security cooperation.

The meeting also involved dialogues on the ongoing government efforts in rebuilding Marawi and how Turkey, as a pre-dominantly Muslim country, can assist PH on its programs and projects. It included discussions on how Islamic financing can be utilized for those MSMEs affected by the siege. They will study the industries that can be put up in Mindanao and can generate more jobs for the people in Marawi.

Both officials also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Investment Promotion by PH Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo and the Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT) President Arda Ermut.

The MOU covered the intention of both parties to exchange best practices as well as information on investment environment and opportunities. Likewise, it encourages local companies to set up and expand their businesses in the partner country.

In 2016, Turkey was PH’s 45th trading partner, 45th export market, and 43th import supplier. In 2017 (covering January-November), total trade between two countries hit a significant increase with USD 163 million.

“Engaging with Turkey is in line with the thrust of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration to engage with non-traditional trading partners to reinvigorate ties and increase trade between both countries,” said Sec. Lopez. 

The trade chief cited current PH exports to Turkey are still confined mostly to desiccated coconut, personal care products, electronics, and tires. These areas are expected to expand with the renewal of economic ties between the two governments and the direct networking among the private sector business delegates. Several business complementations were identified such as in textiles, tourism, pharmaceutical, and infrastructure development.

“During our discussions, we noticed that there are opportunities for our Philippine exporters—whether manufactured goods or services—to further tap the Turkish market,” he added.

The Turkish market comprises more than 80 million people, with per capita income twice of PH’s, and an 11.1% GDP growth posted during the 3rd quarter of 2017.

Meanwhile, an MOU on the enhancement of cooperation in agriculture—plant production and protection; animal farming, health, and breeding; fisheries and aquaculture; food industry; research; rural development; irrigation and extension service; as well as promotion of joint ventures between private sectors—was signed by PH Ambassador to Turkey Maria Rowena Sanchez and Minister Nurettin Canikli.

Partner Philippines

At the sidelines of the JCETC meetings, DTI met with PH and Turkish business officials through a forum with the Turkish Contractors Association (TCA). Sec. Lopez encouraged Turkish companies to join the PH growth story and partner with the country through infrastructure projects, including President Duterte’s “Build Build Build” program.

The meeting was arranged by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC), the Philippine Embassy in Ankara, and the Turkish Ministry of Economy.

The Trade Secretary attended as well a roundtable discussion with the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey or the D?? Ekonomik ?li?kiler Kurulu (DE?K), a leading business organization based in Istanbul. Currently, the organization is represented by 94 founding institutions, 136 bilateral business councils, 5 sector-specific business councils, and 2 special purpose business councils. There will be an immediate Turkey business and investment mission to the Philippines on March this year.

Also at the roundtable discussion were Philippine-Turkey Business Council Chair Ernesto Chua Co Kiong and his counterpart from the Turkish-Philippine Business Council, Mr. Ilkem Sahin. Both expressed optimism on the future economic relations between the two countries.

Sec. Lopez likewise met with other Turkish companies interested in doing business in the country, such as IS Holding and Elginkan.

IS Holding is keen on having ventures in PH involving low cost mass housing, energy, shipyard development as well as film and content production. Meanwhile, Elginkan expressed their interest to expand its operations in Southeast Asia particularly in the Philippines as their potential manufacturing hub in the region.

 

News Courtesy of: Department of Trade and Industry