Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak
PH, Malaysia to strengthen BIMP-EAGA initiatives
Published: 28 November 2016
As part of the recent Presidential visit in Malaysia, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez met with key business leaders and government officials in Malaysia to strengthen trade ties between the two countries, with emphasis on the opportunities and initiatives for the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
“This is a great opportunity to learn first-hand from businesses how our governments can further support those looking to export and how to continue to attract investment from Malaysia to the Philippines,” Sec. Lopez said.
Sec. Lopez also mentioned that increased collaboration in tourism, halal industry, and Islamic banking are being eyed by the two countries as key areas of cooperation. With the increasing halal market worldwide, with an estimated US$ 2 to 3 trillion global halal market, the Philippines eyes heightened cooperation with Malaysia in increasing trade activities in the region for the said industry.
“Malaysia is being eyed as an active partner in exploring more opportunities for the Halal industry in the region,” the trade chief added.
DTI, as the lead agency of the newly-formed Philippine Halal Board, with its Export Marketing Bureau, plans to increase the awareness of the availability, quality, and integrity of the halal products in the Philippines.
According to the DTI Philippine Trade and Investment Center (DTI-PTIC), Malaysian business leaders expressed confidence in many fields of mutual interest for both sides. Potential projects in the railways industry and palm oil development were also discussed.
Separated by only the Sulu Sea, Malaysia and the Philippines share a long history of cultural and diplomatic relations. In 2015, Malaysia ranked as the country’s 10th major trading partner, 11th export market and 8th import supplier. Total bilateral trade amounted to US$4.3 billion.
Engagements during the visit to Malaysia were organized by the DTI-PTICs in Malaysia and Singapore and the Embassy of the Philippines in Kuala Lumpur. Official meetings between Sec. Lopez and Malaysia Ministry of International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa bin Mohamed, the Malaysia-Philippine Business Council and the private sector were also held in the sidelines President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s visit to Malaysia.
Lopez added that he is proud of the fact that both sides have a strong bilateral trade, with Malaysian companies such as Alloy M T D having a firm foothold in the Philippine economy while Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corporation has invested heavily in Malaysia.
With the recent presidential visit to Malaysia, DTI expects bulk of investments from Malaysia in the coming months.
Primarily aimed to stimulate growth and foster inclusive development in the region, BIMP-EAGA was formed in 1994 by the Governments of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Philippine SMEs join Sabah International Exposition 2016
Published: 22 September 2016
Over 30 small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) from the Philippines, particularly from Palawan and Mindanao joined more than 200 exhibitors from 20 countries in the recent Sabah International Exposition (SIE) 2016 in Kota Kinabalu, one of the biggest expos in the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). Among the Philippine products showcased were coco sugar and other coconut-based goods, textile, coffee, fruit concentrates, banana chips, honey, juice and handicrafts. Palawan being the cashew capital of the country, promoted cashew-based products such as oil, nuts, and chips.
Philippine Foreign Trade Service ASEAN Lead and Commercial Counsellor for Singapore and Malaysia Glenn Peñaranda led the government’s delegation on behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). He, together with his colleagues from the DTI regional offices 4B, 9 to12 and the Department of Agriculture extended their support to the exhibitors and took advantage of the opportunity to re-connect and establish new business contacts.
“I am very proud of the Philippine SMEs in SIE as they are able show their competitiveness in a regional platform. We at the DTI continue to encourage the MSMEs to take advantage of trade opportunities in different markets and become part of the global value chain,” said Peñaranda.
While the country has consistently taken part in SIE, most of the delegates for 2016 were first-time participants and are looking forward to exporting to the region. They reported good sales prospects for their healthy, organic and processed food products.
Another highlight for the delegation was the Best International Booth award won by Zamboanga Peninsula. It displayed Abaca finer sheets, household décor items, tamarind candies and coconut handicrafts.
To reaffirm bilateral ties and explore opportunities for cooperation, Peñaranda also had meetings with key government and business leaders on the sidelines of the expo. Peñaranda met with Sabah Economic Development Corporation, Department of Industrial Development and Research, and the Federation of Sabah Industries which all have expressed interest in enhanced collaboration and stronger trade ties between Sabah and the Philippines. Peñaranda underscored the country’s pursuit of its halal industry development and the potential for partnerships with Malaysia. Joint tourism ventures in Palawan and direct ferry links between Palawan and Sabah are being eyed as well.
The country participation was organized by the Mindanao Development Authority which serves as the Philippine Coordination Office for BIMP-EAGA.