A high-level Hong Kong – Shanghai joint investment mission visited the Philippines on 22-24 April to explore cooperation and investment opportunities driven by the growing intra-regional cooperation in Asia. Notably, it is under the Belt and Road Initiative. The Belt and Road Initiative is the development strategy of the Chinese government to promote connectivity and economic cooperation among countries along the 21st century Maritime Silk Road routes. This is to further market integration in the region.
The delegation, organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) in association with the Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce, is composed of 40 Hong Kong and Shanghai business leaders and service providers coming from a wide range of industries.
During the three-day Manila visit, the delegation met with local government officials, agencies and business leaders to explore and discuss potential collaborations between Hong Kong, Shanghai, and the Philippines on investment opportunities.
“Hong Kong and Shanghai: Your Investment Partners” Luncheon
The delegates also participated in project briefings and attended the “Hong Kong and Shanghai: Your Investment Partners” luncheon organized by the HKTDC on April 24.
At the luncheon, Hon. Alan Peter Cayetano, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, warmly welcomes the Chinese businessmen. He shares stories that depict the deep and long friendship between the people of the Philippines and China. Further solidifying the relations between the countries is the presence of an ethnic Filipino-Chinese community. Thus, he states that Philippines and China are intertwined in culture and by blood which goes beyond friendship.
Hon. Cayetano recognizes the importance of finding a way to connect. This is because business is all about mutual respect and confidence. Investing in a relationship now builds momentum for the continuance of good relationships in the future. Chinese businessmen should not be afraid of investing then since international laws are in place to protect their investment from leadership changes. More importantly, he adds that current discussions ensure a good business environment and help open up certain business industries.
The culmination of the luncheon is the promotion of Hong Kong’s unique advantages as a facilitator for infrastructure development and doing business with mainland Chinese and the rest of the world. Hong Kong’s advantages include the city’s international network, rich talent pool, sound financial system, fair legal structure, and efficient infrastructure.
HKTDC Chairman Vincent HS Lo
Mr. Vincent HS Lo assumed chairmanship of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). He is the founder and chairman of Shui On Group, which is principally engaged in property development, construction and construction materials with interests in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.
He stated that China alone cannot do the Belt and Road Initiative on its own. That is why Hong Kong Trade Development Council, a non-profit and semi-private government with more than 48 offices all over the world, helps in the implementation of such vision. Through the investment mission visit, they bring in substantial investors to collaborate with partners in the Philippines on commercially viable projects. He has a positive outlook that the outreach and exchange will help accelerate reform in current laws as well which will enable the Philippines to attract more investments.
Dr. Jonathan Choi, Chairman of the Hong Kong Chinese General Chamber of Commerce
Investment isn’t limited to financing. It includes expertise and technologies which their delegation has. The delegation was impressed by the prospects of the upcoming projects in the country and are ready to contribute their expertise. Some of the planned development projects they are exploring are the reclamation of the Laguna de Bay area, the conversion of Clark military base, and many more.