THE Department of Trade and Industry said it expects investment from China in the mineral processing and manufacturing industries, with Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual planning to visit the Mainland later in the year.

“I am very optimistic of the interest of Chinese enterprises to invest in the Philippines. In fact, I am scheduling a visit to China sometime probably in the early third quarter towards the end of the second quarter,” Mr. Pascual said in an interview with Market Edge.

Mr. Pascual said the government has also discussed mineral processing and manufacturing investment with potential US and European partners.

“We can talk about China investments in processing of minerals, which we are also discussing with some American and European companies,” he said.

“I would like to be able to talk also to companies that are diversifying their (manufacturing) locations and we’ve been trying to catch some of them to locate in the Philippines,” he added.

Mr. Pascual said the Philippines effectively enjoys free trade with China through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, whose participants include the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

“I think it’s very important to understand the type of industries they want to go into. For example, they are interested in our tropical fruit,” he added.

Mr. Pascual has met with his counterparts from the US and Australia for potential investment in renewable energy, mining, electronics, electric vehicles and telecommunications, among others.

In 2022, foreign direct investment net inflows dropped 23.2% to $9.2 billion.

In 2023, Mr. Pascual said the Board of Investments (BoI) hopes to attract P1.5 trillion worth of foreign investment.

“The BoI was originally targeting P1 trillion but given the experience in the first quarter where they were able to achieve a quarter of their target, we increased the target now to P1.5 trillion,” he said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile