THE perception of improvement in the peace and order situation under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has gained back the confidence of Hong Kong businessmen to the Philippines.
“Now you can see peace and order is improving a lot, so more people are coming in, they have more confidence in the Philippines,” said Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc., President Antony Chan.
Chan revealed that the Hong Kong Trade Organization is arranging a business mission next year for a delegation of top businessmen from the Administrative Region to come to the Philippines.
The mission aims to attract more investments into the country from Hong Kong, Chan said.
“The Hong Kong Trade is organizing a delegation of top businessmen in Hong Kong to come to the Philippines in May next year,” he added.
The HKCCPI President explained bringing in Hong Kong investments into the Philippines will translate to the creation of more jobs for Filipinos and eventually provide increased tax revenue for the government.
“That is what we need in the Philippines,” Chan said.
Chan said the Hong Kong businessmen will start with the tourism stressing it is the fastest growing industry lately.
He also mentioned that the manufacturing companies in Hong Kong are looking into the Philippines because the cost of production in Manila now is lower than China and Hong Kong.
“We have a federation of Hong Kong businesses, composed of 41 associations in Asia, Europe and North America. We tell businessmen in other places that it’s the time to invest in the Philippines.”
Chan believes that the economic policies of the administration under the Duterte presidency would level the playing field for both the local and foreign investors.
“We expect the same treatment for local and foreign investors. The 60-40 investment should be lifted in some industries like tourism and we are appealing that foreign investors be allowed land ownership,” he said.
Earlier, Duterte said he is open to lifting the Charter’s restriction on foreign ownership of Philippine corporations.
“Maybe we can tinker with the Constitution now about changing or amending the 60-40 to make them (foreign investors) comfortable.”
Full ownership of corporations in the Philippines is reserved for Filipino citizens. The 1987 Constitution limits foreign ownership at 40%.
Duterte, however, said he does not want to touch on the Constitutional limits of foreign land ownership.