Chinese firm keen on expanding in Philippines

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A HAINAN-BASED conglomerate is looking into building a petroleum refining and petrochemical manufacturing facility in the Philippines, according to Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.

In a statement, Mr. Lopez said he met with Handi Group President Hanling Wu last Nov. 27, where they discussed the possibility of the company investing in the Philippines.

“We welcome business intentions to strengthen our petrochemical industry, which the government actively supports. They expressed strong confidence on the business environment stability during the Duterte administration,” Mr. Lopez said.

Handi Group is described as one of the largest private specialty oil producer in China. The Hainan-based company is involved in oil refinery, chemical industry, trading, investment, and financing.

Mr. Lopez said he broached the idea of Handi setting up a facility in Mindanao, noting the region meets the company’s requirements for power, land and accessibility.

Mr. Wu was quoted as saying the company would require technical staff, particularly engineers, from the Philippines.

“There are a lot of universities in Mindanao that produce quality graduates and professionals in the field of engineering. We have good universities present in all parts of Philippines,” Mr. Lopez said.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s move to improve ties with China has led to more Chinese investment pledges both from the government and private companies. — Anna Gabriela C. Mogato