President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s participation in the 29th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Thailand and his meetings with Thai business groups have opened up a lot of opportunities for the Philippines and Thailand to collaborate further, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President George Barcelon said.
“The President in the speech or the talk that we had with the Thai business… captains of various industries, was very frank. The President talked about the concern of the food security that the Philippines is worrying,” said Barcelon, who was part of the President’s delegation to Thailand.
“The fact that everything is twice as high due to the cause of various factors that are beyond our control. But having said that, I think the President opens up that we can collaborate with Thailand,” Barcelon said.
According to the PCCI president, there are a lot of upsides for the Philippines in forging close ties with Thailand in terms of business.
For instance, the President mentioned public-private partnership (PPP) during those meetings, which could give various sectors impetus to invest more in the country’s PPP program.
There are also Thai companies already operating in the Philippines that want to expand their business.
One example is the CP Group, which the President met in Thailand on the sidelines of the APEC meeting.
The Thai conglomerate has a big investment in the Philippines’ aqua feed products, as well as in poultry and food-related investments.
“It was mentioned that they are optimistic about the growth in the Philippines,” Barcelon said, mentioning interests by other Thai companies to invest in the Philippines.
Other areas of investment include energy and telecommunications, which President Marcos mentioned during his meetings with Thai businesses.
“So these are all positive indicators that Thailand business groups are having a positive view. The other gentlemen that I mentioned is in the tower building,” the PCCI head said.
“He has some contracts to build in the Philippines and he looks forward to having more, you know, repeaters, broadband repeaters. He said Thailand has about almost 80,000 antennas,” Barcelon pointed out.
Although it’s still a long way to catch up for the Philippines, the good thing, Barcelon said, is there are Thai investors who are investing in the Philippines to make this happen.
“So we hope that after this meeting, there would be more follow-ups,” Barcelon said as he pointed to Thailand’s 34 billion exports of halal products.
“The Philippines has been eyeing this market for quite some time, but we have not made real big inroads. And again this has opened up the possibility of more Thai companies helping us out or even investing in the Philippines for halal food,” Barcelon said. #