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Int’l biz magazine to promote Cebu to Asian investors

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

Cebu bureaucrats enticed more Taiwanese investors to locate here through an international business magazine.

Cebu will be among the places in the country to be featured in the 18-20 pages special feature of “Trade Insight Biweekly.”

The magazine is published in Chinese language for trade professionals with articles based on market information collected from numerous journalists and over 100 global offices of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) combined.

The articles cover information on global market trends as well as the latest news on major industries. With 25 issues annually, this is the only trade magazine in Taiwan specifically designed for Asians around the globe.

A press briefing was held for the Taiwan Press Mission at the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-Mactan last June 27.

Representatives from Cebu Province, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) alternated in presenting Cebu’s economic profile and investment opportunities.

Chief Editor Ms. Ling-Fan asked about Cebu’s unique edge that would seal investors’ interest in Cebu.

The local investment representatives pitched Cebu as both a business and leisure hub. Pristine beaches and other tourist attractions are also located in urban centers and some are about an hour’s ride from industrial parks.

Cebu’s priorities for development and other valuable information were among those presented during the briefing.

There were also questions on the sufficient supply and cost of basic utilities such as water and electricity as well as traffic.

Angelo Samson, investment officer, Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Taipei Office, said the electricity rate in Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) II is higher compared to other economic zones.

The members of the Taiwan Press Mission were here from June 26 to June 28 to know more about Cebu’s economic zones, industrial parks and business centers. They also interviewed local businessmen and Taiwanese investors on their experiences in the Philippines.

Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Taipei Office,headed by Mary Anne Sioco, chief of staff and information officer and Harrison K.M. Lan, director, Taiwan Trade Center, Manila assisted the press mission.

Esperanza Melgar, chief, industry development and investment promotion division, DTI 7 said Taiwan ranked sixth in export trade volume of Cebu products with 4.11 % share. The top five export markets of Cebu are Japan, USA, China, Hongkong, and Thailand.

Based on Philippine Statistics Authority data, Cebu exports to Taiwan is valued at USD171,756,345.00 or about8 percent of the total value of Philippine exports to Taiwan from January to June 17 2016.

When it comes to importation however, Cebu imported USD232,417,395.00 of materials from Taiwan in the same period. Melgar said they hope to level up the trade deficit in the coming years.

PEZA-Cebu Investment Promotions Officer Raymund Java said there are 19 Taiwanese locators in MEPZ and Cebu Light Industrial Park since 1987. Most of the companies are into garments manufacturing.

Alexander Durante II, operations specialist, Cebu Investment and Promotions Office, identified potential areas for investments in Cebu.

These are tourism; real estate development; creative and design-driven services; entertainment, leisure, and recreation facilities; retail trade; and manufacturing industries.

Other areas are convention and exhibition facilities, power generation companies preferably renewable energy, infrastructure and services in support to tourism, educational institutions and training centers, medical facilities for outside Metro Cebu, and waste management facilities.

There are 11 major economic zones in Cebu enjoying fiscal and non-fiscal incentives from the government.

The Cebu Provincial Government also enacted an investment and incentive code that would further give incentives to investors