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.
Tainan City Councilor Lu Kun-fu (盧崑福) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday sparked further controversy when he echoed remarks by KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) that Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) should be executed for an increase in domestic COVID-19 cases. Chen heads the Central Epidemic Command Center. Lu at a question-and-answer session at the Tainan City Council said that a lapse in disease prevention measures at China Airlines, which has led to a cluster infection, could have been controlled. However, as the airline’s pilots were allowed a shortened quarantine period of three days and were placed
SUFFICIENT SUPPLY: Taiwan has an abundance of pandemic-related goods in storage, and protocols have been implemented to ensure that the supply chain is not broken Hordes of customers descended on hypermarkets and supermarkets in Taipei and New Taipei City after the government yesterday raised the COVID-19 alert level for the two municipalities to level 3 until May 28. Earlier in the day, the Central Epidemic Command Center reported 180 new domestically transmitted cases, most of them in Taipei and New Taipei City. Despite the government urging the public to stop hoarding daily necessities, shelves were stripped bare while cashiers were working as fast as they could. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) at a news conference on Friday detailed the government’s inventory of masks, medical-grade isopropyl alcohol and protective clothing,
EYES AND EARS: The navy has commissioned the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to manufacture radars to upgrade the nation’s naval monitoring stations A military enthusiast yesterday posted photographs of Taiwanese F-16 jets taking off from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu with two refueling aircraft, presumably returning to Taiwan from the US for upgrades. Asked about the matter, the Ministry of National Defense declined to comment. The jets had been part of training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and had briefly landed in Honolulu, where the photographer, Aeros808, had spotted them, a source said. The jets did not land in Guam, which had been done in 1996 when the US Air Force delivered F-16s to Taiwan, the source said, adding that the
‘STAY CALM’: The nation has more than 800 million masks in stock and can produce up to 40 million a day, while hand sanitizer stocks are also sufficient The nation has an ample supply of masks to meet demand amid concerns over an increase in the number of domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Tuesday. Taiwan has more than 800 million masks in stock, with daily production of 18.3 million units on average and maximum daily capacity of 40 million units, the ministry said on Facebook. The ministry’s assurance came after Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), on Monday said that the nation has entered the community transmission stage after several new domestic