Philippines attracts agro-industry investment project from China

The relocation of P86.258M agro-industry investment project from China to the Philippines is seen to further boost the Philippines’ agribusiness industry. Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. welcomed this development as a milestone in supporting the growth of the agribusiness sector.

“Agribusiness is a key sector under the Investments Priorities Plan (IPP) that will generate income and jobs in the rural areas. We are actively engaging China as a high growth emerging market both for exports and investments,” Undersecretary Cristobal added.

Based on reports from investment promotion agencies, approved investments in agribusiness and related industries amounted to P2.271B in 2010. Attracting Chinese firms to relocate to the country is one of the strategies in the Philippine Exports Development (PEDP).

According to the BOI, the said investment project will be located in Mandaue, Cebu and will involve production of frozen fish fillets for exports. The project will have a capacity of 2,250,000 kilograms annually and will export 100% of its total production. It is also expected to generate 256 jobs once commercial operations start in May.

The project involves acquisition and installation of equipment such as tunnel freezers, cold storage, air conditioning, generators, vacuum packaging machines, and waste water facility.

The company will source packaging materials locally including corrugated cartons and plastic sacks among other things. The fish products will be sourced from suppliers in Norway, Japan, New Zealand, Argentina, and the Netherlands.

Agriculture and related industries are listed under the BOI’s Investments Priorities Plan 2011 which also includes other priority sectors, namely 027-12NPhilippines attracts agro-industry investment project from China 2tourism, ship building, mass housing, energy, infrastructure, research & development, motor vehicles, green projects, creative industries, disaster prevention; and public-private partnership.

The IPP aims to generate investments in key areas of the economy considered to be enablers or triggers that create much needed jobs for the country.

The BOI approves projects under the IPP based on net value added, job generation, multiplier effect, and measured capacity.

Undersecretary Cristobal said that the BOI will complement the IPP with strategic industry roadmaps meant to “create sustainable economic growth across different industries and provide the environment to make the Philippines more competitive with the rest of the region.”

The DTI has so far identified pillars for industry development that include existing growth industries (electronics, ICT/BPO/call centers, shipbuilding, steel fabrication, mining, and plantation farming);SMEs(agribusiness, tourism, processed food, handicraft and  manufacturing businesses  –industries that could help boost job generation in the countryside); and industries with large scale potential such as car/tire manufacturing, bamboo, palm oil, rubber, corn, and prawn farming, among others. (END)