Taipei, Taiwan - The Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) held today, its first ever flagship event, entitled The Philippine Tourism Investment Forum in Taipei (2019) to present various excellent opportunities in the Philippines Tourism and Tourism Infrastructure sector to some 120 Taiwanese conglomerates and business leaders.
The forum was organized by MECO's commercial affairs section, The Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Taipei, which also functions as the representative office of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry in Taiwan. MECO and PTIC Taipei worked closely with the Philippine Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), and the Department of Tourism's Taipei Office to organize the two-day tourism investments roadshow composed of the forum and another day of high-level strategic meetings with top Taiwanese conglomerates with strong potential to invest in the sector. The forum highlighted the highly attractive incentives, government support and numerous development and partnership opportunities in the Philippine Tourism, Hospitality and Entertainment sector, in a bid to boost Taiwanese presence in this industry.
The event's lead organizer, MECO-PTIC Trade Representative and Director of Commercial Affairs, Michael Alfred Ignacio, opened the event and introduced the distinguished line up of speakers, before introducing and calling on MECO Chairman and Resident Representative Angelito Tan Banayo to deliver the Welcome Keynote.
MECO Chairman Banayo, setting the tone for the afternoon in his Welcome Keynote highlighted the numerous golden opportunities that are being offered by TIEZA for the first time internationally to potential Taiwanese investors in Taipei.
TIEZA Chief Operating Officer Pocholo Paragas, the head of the Philippine delegation, delivered the event's Plenary Keynote said that "it was an honor to be invited to present the crucial role of the tourism sector in the Philippine Infrastructure program." TIEZA COO Paragas went on to describe the pivotal role of his office, in promoting and revitalizing the Philippine Tourism Industry by aggressively promoting investments in Tourism Economic Zones (TEZs) which TIEZA regulates.
Other speakers included, TIEZA Assistant COO Atty. Karen Mae Sarinas-Baydo, who presented investment opportunities in the Philippine Tourism Enterprise Zones and TIEZA Assistant COO Jetro Nicolas Lozada, who talked about investment opportunities and development projects of TIEZA assets. Atty. Niño Rupert Aquino, also touched briefly on the highly attractive incentive regime being administered by TIEZA to qualified investments in the sector, as well as outlined the procedures and processes in registering to avail of said incentives.
MECO Director of Tourism Affairs and DOT Tourism Attache, Hazel Habito-Javier, presented the numerous reasons and sought after tourist destinations in the Philippines as main reasons for Taiwanese companies to explore investment potentials in the country, in a presentation full of wonderful images and videos.
The afternoon's Testimonial Keynote, was delivered by MSK Group Chairman and CEO, Simon Su, whose group, engaged in construction and development activities in the Philippines, embarked on a highly ambitious US$2Billion project to develop a luxury resort condominium and hotel complex in Subic Bay in 2017. PTIC Trade Representative Ignacio invited Mr. Su to share their excellent experiences and best practices in their decision to locate their major investments in the Philippines, in order to entice more Taiwanese investors to also follow suit and invest in the highly promising Philippine Tourism sector.
As a brief background, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law, Republic Act 11262, on April 10, 2019, which amended the Tourism Act of 2009, granting TIEZA extended powers to grant attractive incentives for Tourism Enterprises located in designated Tourism Enterprise Zones. These incentives include income tax holidays up to 6 years, 5% preferential taxes on gross income and tax exemptions on importation of capital and transportation equipment from tariffs and duties up to 2029, among many others.
The Philippines, boasting of some 7,107 islands, is considered the closest paradise destination for Taiwanese tourists. As of July 2019, Taiwan reported that the Philippines received the highest growth rate for outbound tourists from Taiwan at 55.42% for the month of June and 30.6% from January to June compared to the same period in 2018.
Taoyuan Airport has regular flights flying to Manila on a daily basis by China Air, Eva Air, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. Eva Air flies daily from taoyuan to Cebu, China Air has 4 flights a week from Manila to Kaoshiung, and Air Asia opened routes from Kaoshiung to Clark and Cebu. Tiger Air now also flies to Clark.
As Taiwan’s closest New Southbound partner, the Manila Economic and Cultural Office, through its commercial affairs section the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Taipei, and in close cooperation with the Tourism Infrastructure Economic Zone Authority, cordially invited Taiwanese companies and conglomerates engaged in tourism, travel, entertainment and hospitality businesses to seriously consider the Philippines as its primary investment destination, to take advantage of the golden opportunities, government support and incentives and world-class travel destinations the Philippines has to offer.