News Release

Agri chief Laurel to Bruneian companies: Seize PH’s huge business potential, invest in agriculture

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. pitched for the Philippines’ agriculture sector on Wednesday, inviting Bruneian companies and business organizations to invest in the Philippines over other locations considering its huge business potential.

Accompanying President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. during the Philippine Business Forum in Bandar Seri Begawan, Laurel said: “our President’s visit figures to further invigorate bilateral relations between the Philippines and Brunei in various areas.”

“The Philippine Department of Agriculture is certain that this remarkable event will lead to partnerships and collaborations that will further deepen our economic ties in the field of agriculture,” Laurel said.

Laurel told Brunei investors of the various opportunities in Philippine agri-trade and agri-business, enumerating the myriad reasons why they should choose the country, pointing out its growing domestic market and export potential, rich natural and human resources, and favorable policy environment.

Underscoring the Philippines’ growing domestic market and export potential, Laurel said that with a population of over 110 million people growing at an annual rate of 1.5 percent and rising middle-class population with changing dietary preferences, the Philippines has a significant domestic market for agricultural products and high-quality food commodities.

Aside from export-oriented crops such as bananas, pineapples, coffee, coconuts that have strong demand abroad, there are also new and emerging export products like abaca, coffee and seaweed, to name a few, that are gaining international popularity, Laurel said.

“The Philippines still has an export potential of approximately US$2.7 billion for tropical fruits and vegetables, US$452 million for fish and shellfish, and US$2.2 billion for processed foods and beverages,” Laurel told Bruneian businesses, adding the Philippines is stimulating this potential through preferential trade agreements with other countries.

The country’s rich natural and human resources make it viable for business and investment, he said.

The Philippine’s abundant land and fishery resources support the availability of local raw materials for agro-processing, while its fertile soil, diverse climate, and water resources make the country suitable for various crops and livestock.

Moreover, the 58-million rural population, the third largest in the ASEAN region, is a sizeable pool of human resources for agriculture and agro-processing, Laurel said.

Investors should also consider the Philippines because of its favorable policy environment, the agriculture chief pointed out.

“Modernizing Philippine agriculture is a critically important agenda of our government. Fueled by our long-term vision of a food-secure and resilient Philippines with empowered and prosperous farmers and fishers, the Philippine government is embarking on plans and programs from this year through 2027 to accelerate the modernization of Philippine agriculture and transformation of food systems,” he noted.

“Our development framework to support the modernization and industrialization of agriculture stretches through 2030.”

In addition to contributing to sustainable practices and build resilient supply chains, Laurel said foreign investors can benefit from various incentives, tax breaks, and streamlined processes being offered by the Philippine government.

Among the investment opportunities in Philippine agriculture by sector include irrigation system, farm mechanization services, and feed milling facilities.

In the post-harvest and processing and logistics segment, investors could consider investing on modern post-harvest storage systems, integrated food terminal facilities, establishment of fish ports including landing, and post-harvest.

Another area is cross-cutting segment, in which Bruneian investors could put their money on agri-fishery industrial business corridors, agri-fishery enterprises and business incubation initiatives, state-of-the-art service laboratories and testing and analysis, ICT-based interventions, organic multiplier farm, seed centers in the community, and composting system/facilities for organic agriculture. PND