DOLE chief sees more
trade, more employment for Filipinos after APEC
MANILA, Nov. 30 -- Vibrant trade relations, initially among nine Asia
Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies, but expanding eventually to
all its members, are expected to create employment opportunities for more
Filipinos following the successful 2015 APEC Leaders’ Meeting which the
Philippines hosted last week.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz made this
confident observation on Thursday in the wake of several bilateral meetings
of President Benigno S. Aquino III as the Philippines’ leader-host of the
“The bilateral meetings of the Philippines with Australia, Japan, Korea,
Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Russia, and the United States
of America, resulted to identification of potential investment areas and
employment opportunities, as well as continued stronger trade relations, as
well as export opportunities for Philippine products and services with these
APEC member-economies,” Secretary Baldoz said in a news release.
Staring off with Australia, Baldoz said potential Australian investments
will be in processed food and agribusiness, IT-BPM, engineering services,
infrastructure and other private-public partnership projects, auto parts
exports, and manufacturing.
“We see the Philippines exhibiting healthy export trade relations with
Australia for its paper and paperboard products, semi-manufactured forms of
gold, lead acid for starting piston engines, heat exchange units, and static
converters (e.g., rectifiers),” she said, noting that the Philippines has
inked a Memorandum of Understanding with Australia covering exchange of
information on Technical Vocational Education and Training systems, joint
implementation of collaborative projects, and facilitation of links between
governments, industry organizations, and TVET bodies.
With Japan, the labor and employment chief said the bilateral meeting of
President Aquino III with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could pave the way for
more Japanese investments in the country’s copper mining industry and
manufacturing sector, specifically for auto parts, printer, and printing
parts, and medical devices, as well as investments in the services sector,
particularly on IT-BPM and gaming development.
For its part, the Philippines’ export products to Japan of photosensitive
semiconductor devices, including photovoltaic cells, ignition wiring sets,
and other wiring devices used in vehicles, aircraft,ships, and other vessels
for the transport of goods and persons could increase. Increased exports of
copper ores and concentrates, wood joinery, and carpentry could also grow.
Moreover, the PH-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) is expected to
improve market access for Philippines meat, bananas, pineapples, tuna, and
raw cane sugar to the Japanese market, and relax entry requirements and
improvements in the training and working conditions of Filipino health
workers in Japan. The agreement also explores the possibility of expanding
the PJEPA government-to-government framework for the deployment of other
Filipino professionals to Japan.
With Korea, the established trade agreement covers investment opportunities
for shipbuilding, automotive manufacturing, electronics manufacturing
(printers, integrated circuits, LED modules), agribusiness (food production
and processing), renewable energy, banking and finance, tourism (hotel,
retirement village, infrastructure and PPP, including the other
labor-intensive industries migrating out of China, such as shoes, jewellery,
On the other hand, Philippine exports to Korea are crude petroleum oils and
oils obtained from bituminous minerals, digital monolithic integrated
circuits, copper ores and concentrates, bananas, and tobacco.
The Philippines had also established trade agreements with Mexico in the
areas of infrastructure and energy, manufacturing of electronics,
food/agribusiness, pharmaceutical and medicine, aerospace, fabricated metal
products, and consumer products, paving the way for more Mexican businesses
to operate in the Philippines in addition to those who are already in
support maintenance and sourcing services, building materials, interactive
museum and learning centers.
At present, the country exports ignition wiring sets and other wiring
devices for vehicles, aircraft, or ships; digital monolithic integrated
circuits, and other parts and accessories of motor vehicles, such as
unassembled fuel tanks and engine brackets; and printed circuits and gear
boxes to Mexico.
In tourism, the Philippines signed with Mexico a Memorandum of Understanding
on Tourism Cooperation seeking to develop tourism sector activities,
particularly in the areas of research and development, education and
training, promotion, and tourism investments.
New Zealand’s potential investments which could create more employment
opportunities are in processed food and agribusiness, IT-BPM services,
engineering services, infrastructure and other public-private partnership
projects, auto parts exports/ and manufacturing. The identified Philippine
exports to New Zealand are banana, salmon, sacks and bags, other instruments
and apparatus for telecommunications, and lead acid for starting piston
Another South American country with which the Philippines could develop
increased trade is Peru, which has identified investment opportunities in
the country’s infrastructure, energy, manufacturing of electronics,
food/agribusiness, pharmaceutical and medicine, aerospace, fabricated metal
products, and consumer products. Presently, Philippine exports to Peru are
computer accessories, clothing, milling equipment, carrageenan, seaweeds and
other algae products, and electrical apparatus and parts for line telephony
or line telegraphy.
With Papua New Guinea, the Philippines welcomes PNG investments in
infrastructure/PPP, IT-BPM, shipbuilding, energy, and agribusiness, as well
as potential investment and trade in the areas of cannery, consulting,
engineering, building and construction, services sector, retail, ports
development, air services, agriculture and agro-industries (exchange of
professionals/scientists, information, and technology; and collaborative
studies on agriculture and cooperation in rice farming and production).
Philippine exports to PNG of tuna, skipjack, and bonito; other
non-inflatable rowing boats, canoes, and vessels, sports; stoppers, caps and
lids, capsules for bottles, and sealants and other accessories, fishing
nets, and other confectionery products are expected to also increase.
In Eastern Europe, the Philippines expects more robust trade with Russia,
which is keen on investingin the country’s IT-BPM sector, processed and
specialty food manufacture, non-renewable and renewable energy,
design-driven products, and aerospace. These could propel increased exports
to Russia of desiccated coconut, bananas, carrageenan, seaweeds and other
algae, gas-fuelled and non-refillable pocket lighters, ignition wiring sets,
and other wiring devices used in vehicles, aircraft, or ships.
With the United States as the country’s biggest trade partner, Baldoz said
the Philippines will benefit more from American investments in the IT-BPM
sector, food manufacture, and design-drivenproducts. It could also see more
investments in electronics manufacturing, manufacturing of energy products,
pharmaceuticals, and aerospace products, as well as in infrastructure and
energy. On the other hand, the country could expect increased exports to the
US of coconut oil, digital monolithic integrated circuits, storage units,
static converters, ignition wiring sets and other wiring devices used in
vehicles, aircraft, or ships.
“These potential investment and employment opportunities are tangible
outcomes of the Philippines’ hosting and active participation in the APEC.
We at the DOLE supports the inclusive growth strategy of the APEC region by
expanding access to opportunities and enabling people to realize their full
potential, which will result to more productive employment opportunities,
dynamic economic growth, and greater well-being,” said Baldoz. (DOLE)