The Philippines is expected to receive an influx of investments from Hong Kong by mid-2017 as Hong Kong nationals are fully convinced that the peace and order situation in the country has improved.
Hong Kong businessmen became interested in investing in the Philippines after President Rodrigo Duterte displayed toughness against illegal drugs and criminality, which is usually the source of heinous crimes.
“Now you can see peace and order is improving a lot and this is why Hong Kong businessmen now is more confident in the Philippines under the Duterte administration,” Anthony Chen, president of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc., said.
Chen said that his group was closely coordinating with Hong Kong businessmen who have already showed interests in investing in the Philippines and this group was expected to arrive sometime in April or May next year.
“Aside from improved peace and order, the bullish showing of Philippine economy in Asia attracts more investors to come in,” Chen said at the sideline of the 2nd Anniversary and Induction of Officers of Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc. Friday night.
“We are interested in tourism. We want to build additional support to tourists like hotels, restaurants and transportation,” he added.
He recalled that during the 70s to 80s, Philippines was the favorite destination of Hong Kong tourists. "We shifted to Singapore, Thailand and other Asian countries because of the deteriorating peace and order,” he pointed out.
He said it would be better if Congress passed a measure that repealed the 60-40 rule on land ownership and businesses.
“You know in the US and Hong Kong, you can buy parcel of lands even if you are a tourist. You cannot bring the Philippine soil to Hong Kong. Maybe it is high time to consider this,” the new President of the chamber said.
He said that giving local and foreign investors equal footing and allowing them to compete would surely attracts more investors that generate more jobs to Filipinos.
With this, he said, Filipinos would think twice or trice before they decide to go abroad to look for greener pasture.
“If there are jobs available, Filipinos will stay in the country even if they receive a little lesser salary compared to other rich nations. Why go out to other countries, there are many uncertainties there,” he stressed.
According to Chen, working with your loved ones on your side is priceless while working abroad is a big sacrifice.
He did not give any figures on how big Hong Kong businessmen can invest but reminded that they have already started investing in Bataan and other economic zones in the country. (PNA) RMA/Sammy F. Martin