DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual holds a press briefing at the Media Center in Malacañang Compound in Manila on Wednesday, July 12, 2023. — PHILIPPINE STAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

TWENTY-FOUR PROJECTS were signed between companies and local government  units (LGUs) from China’s Fujian province and the Philippines with a total contract value of 42.62 billion yuan (P331.87 billion).

The deals were signed on Monday at the China (Fujian)-Philippines Joint Demonstration Zone for Economic Innovative Development & Economic and Trade Cooperation Promotion Conference at the Conrad Manila.

“I have not looked into the specific details because these are private to private projects. Once they are ready and start applying for incentives that is when we are going to get more details of the investments,” Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual told reporters on Monday.

Of the projects, nine valued at 15.77 billion yuan involve Philippine investments in China, covering petrochemicals, aquaculture, small factories, hotels and commercial complexes. 

These projects include the 3.53-billion-yuan industrial serialization project of Megasoft (Philippines) Hygienic Products, Inc. in Quanzhou, Fujian. Its partner is the Quanzhou Municipal Bureau of Commerce.

Another is a partnership between Philippine Universal Resorts and the Jinjiang, Fujian Municipal People’s Government for a 1.2 billion yuan five-star hotel in Jinjiang City’s Chidian Town.

Nine of the contracts involve investments in the Philippines worth a combined 22.65 billion yuan. These deals are production facilities and warehouses for steel, photovoltaic, sanitary, and aquatic products.

Among these projects is the construction of a steel production base in the Bataan Economic Zone between the Philippines’ Liwang Summit Properties, Inc. and China’s RSIN Group, which is valued at 12 billion yuan.

Another project involves the construction of a photovoltaic industrial park to be put up by Fujian Uptop Trading Co., Ltd. and Gain City Solution Philippines Corp. The contract is worth 5 billion yuan.

Another 4.2 billion yuan worth of contracts are trade cooperation projects in the building materials, clothing, and footwear industries, as well as fruits. Three economic and trade cooperation agreements were signed by business associations, while colleges and universities entered into talent exchange agreements.

In a speech at the event, Mr. Pascual welcomed the promotion of the Philippines-China (Fujian) Industrial Park, particularly the Yatai Industrial Park, as it will provide a platform for businesses from both countries to innovate.

“There is a major trade relationship between Fujian and the Philippines — (both in) export and import. What we are encouraging now are further investments,” said Mr. Pascual.

“They are building an industrial park there and we are also building an industrial park here. We have Filipino investors which will invest in their park, and investors from Fujian province and in other parts of China, will invest in ours,” he added.

Yatai Industrial Park will focus on attracting electricity and heat production and supply, ferrous metal smelting and rolling, and non-ferrous metal smelting and rolling metal locators.

Foreign investors and their immediate family members are entitled to be permanent residents, while foreign citizens can be hired under the preferential policies attached to Yatai Industrial Park.

Zhangzhou city and the Philippines are currently collaborating to set up two parks — the Asian Time Industrial Park and the Philippine-China Economic Cooperation Industrial Park.

“China’s prominence in the Philippine economic narrative is undeniable. Standing as our most significant trade ally among 231 nations, in 2022, China was our primary source of imports and our third-biggest export destination,” Mr. Pascual said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile