THE BOARD of Investments (BoI) is seeking out Chinese companies interested in investing in battery projects and other areas of technology, particularly those that will help the Philippines make progress on digitalization.  

Trade Undersecretary and BoI Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said during the recent China-Philippines Economic and Trade Conference that Chinese firms can tap Philippine mineral deposits to produce lithium-ion batteries.

Mr. Rodolfo also said Chinese firms can invest in energy storage products such as electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy battery banks.

“As the Philippines has one of the largest deposits for both nickel and cobalt, the key ingredients for making lithium-ion batteries, investment in the processing facilities for such mineral products are profitable,” Mr. Rodolfo said.

Mr. Rodolfo said Chinese investors can also look into assembling transportation equipment and consumer electronics.

“The Philippines, similar to other countries, is experiencing a surge in demand for solo mobility types of transportation equipment,” Mr. Rodolfo said.

Mr. Rodolfo said there are also opportunities in health-related products such as medicine, vaccines, and medical devices due to the presence of an established manufacturing supply chain.

He said that the Philippines has the capacity for making tooling and dies, industrial chemicals, semiconductors, plastics, and metal parts, which are all required in the production of medical devices .

“Growth in the field of medical devices in the Philippines is expected to be driven by the government’s initiative to upgrade and build more health facilities to support the projected demand from 2025 to 2040,” Mr. Rodolfo said.

Mr. Rodolfo said Chinese companies can also invest in the modernization of the agriculture sector and in agribusiness, particularly in research, processing, and logistics, as well as in fintechs.

“With financial technology and e-commerce growing ever stronger in the Philippines and Asia, we are poised to develop an advanced tech startup environment,” Mr. Rodolfo said.

“From 2016 to 2020, the total trade with China reached $145 billion with an average growth of 8.8 percent. In 2020, bilateral trade is amounting to $31 billion, making China the country’s top trading partner – the third biggest export market and the biggest import source,” he added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave