Philippine officials sought to attract Taiwanese investment to the Southeast Asian nation’s tourism sector at the two-day Philippine Tourism Investment Forum, which ended on Friday in Taipei, as overall Taiwanese investment has fallen in the countries covered by the New Southbound Policy.
Taiwanese investment in the Philippines peaked in 2015 at US$644 million, but fell 76 percent to US$149 million last year, even though the number of investments has risen fivefold.
Taiwanese investments in the 18 countries covered by the policy fell 38 percent last year. Investments in those countries reached US$3.5 billion in 2015, but fell to US$2.1 billion last year, despite the number of investments more than doubling.
Officials at the forum nonetheless touted the investment opportunities in the Philippines’ tourism and tourism infrastructure sector to about 120 Taiwanese conglomerates and business leaders.
The forum was organized by the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taipei to promote Taiwanese investment, development and partnership opportunities in the Philippine tourism, hospitality and entertainment sectors, and to boost Taiwan’s presence in the industry, the office said.
It was the first time that the office held such a meeting in Taiwan.
MECO Chairman Angelito Banayo highlighted the opportunities that are being offered to potential investors by the Philippine Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority, a government agency tasked with developing and promoting tourism projects, it said.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in April signed a law granting the authority extended powers to offer incentives for tourism enterprises located in designated tourism enterprise zones.
The incentives include income tax holidays of up to six years, 5 percent preferential taxes on gross income, and tax exemptions on the importation of capital and transportation of equipment until 2029, among others, the office said.
The Philippines, Taiwan’s closest New Southbound Policy partner, had the highest growth in tourists from Taiwan at 55.42 percent in June and 30.6 percent in the January-to-June period, compared with the same period last year, the office said, citing Taiwanese government data.
The forum invited Simon Su (蘇國芳), chairman and CEO of the Taiwanese MSK Group, which in 2017 began to invest in what is expected to be a US$2 billion project to develop a luxury resort complex in Subic Bay, to share the company’s experience in the Philippines.
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger said he does not foresee a Chinese military invasion of Taiwan in the next decade, although it is “perfectly possible” that China could seek to weaken the island’s status. “I don’t expect an all-out attack on Taiwan in, say, a 10-year period, which is as far as I can see,” Kissinger said yesterday in an interview on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS. Kissinger, 98, who also served as national security adviser and helped pave the way for then-US president Richard Nixon’s historic 1972 visit to China, said that “everyone wants to be a China hawk” and
Taiwanese actress Big S, also known as Barbie Hsu (徐熙媛), and Chinese restaurateur Wang Xiaofei (汪小菲) officially announced their divorce yesterday, stating the decision was cordial and that they would be raising their two children together. The statement came by proxy through the couple’s legal counsel, filed by both Wang and Hsu. Hsu and Wang thanked fans for their love and support, with the couple saying that fate had blessed them with a time of happiness, and that they were grateful for their time together. They said that while they walked hand-in-hand as husband and wife, they would continue a cordial relationship as
UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS: Tortuous and possibly criminal penalties doled out by nine officers to a napping cadet have sparked calls for standardized discipline rules Defense experts called on the Ministry of Defense to create a standard code for maintaining discipline, after local media on Saturday reported that nine officers were reprimanded for administering inappropriate punishments to a conscript in Kinmen. Earlier last week, a boot camp recruit surnamed Chung (鍾) was stripped of his shirt and had icepacks placed against his armpits and crotch as a punishment for napping during physical training, the Kinmen Defense Command confirmed on Saturday. The command cadre of the battalion, including the battalion commander, the political warfare officer and the sergeant who ordered the drill have been transferred and could face
DESTABILIZING: Beijing’s efforts to choke Taiwan, pressure its friends and hamper its democracy are a threat to the world, AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk said China’s provocative military activities near Taiwan are destabilizing and risk “miscalculation,” American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk said yesterday, reiterating the US’ objection to any unilateral changes to the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait. Oudkirk made the remarks in a speech at the annual conference of the Association of International Relations in Taipei. “In the Indo-Pacific region, America’s effort to resolve and manage differences with the leadership of the People’s Republic of [PRC] faces distinct challenges,” she said, referencing a range of actions by China that she said run counter to the shared values and interests of the