Philippines ‘ideal’ refuge from US-China trade war

July 25, 2019

American companies are looking at the country  as an ideal location to expand their operations and avoid being caught up in the ongoing trade war between the United States and China.

"Some American companies that are relocating are looking at the Philippines," Amb. to the US Jose Romualdez told reporters in an interview.

Romualdez  said a number of American firms has already indicated  intent to move to the Philippines, while other American firms in the country are now expanding their operations.

"We here, we are getting some. Some companies who are operating here already, they are expanding. If I'm not mistaken there is Cargill which is a medical equipment company, some other companies that instead of investing more in China, they've decided to expand their operations here, I think Procter and Gamble is also one," he said.

"We have a list of companies that have indicated they like to move to the Philippines or expand their operations," he added.

Romualdez stressed the need to fast-track economic reforms in the country, pointing to the 60-40 percent constitutional foreign-ownership provision, which he said turns off investors.

"Talagang number one sa atin 'yong you cannot own more than 40 percent. That's a big negative for us, the minute they see that, nawawalan na sila ng gana agad," he said, noting that in other Southeast Asian neighbors, such as Vietnam, "there is no limit" on the foreign ownership of a company.

"Vietnam, their incentives, it's so easy because remember, they have (an) authoritarian government. When people are asking them for special deals, Vietnam can easily give it, that's why Vietnam is getting most of (fallout from China)," he said.