FILIPINO BUSINESSMEN FORGE ALLIANCE IN I.T. W/ TAIWANESE COUNTERPARTS

MANILA, NOVEMBER 4, 2003 (BULLETIN) By Edu H. Lopez - The Philippine-Taiwan economic cooperation took a major leap when Filipino business leaders signed an agreement with their counterparts in Taipei to advance alliances in the information technology and electronics industries.

The agreement was forged towards the tail-end of the first Taiwan-Philippines High Tech Forum held during the recent Computex Taipei 2003 exhibit held last September 22 to 26 at the Taipei World Trade Center.

No less than Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian gave his blessings after witnessing the signing of the cooperation agreement.

“If both sides can enhance information-technology cooperation to expand bilateral trade and investment, then it will ultimately bring substantial economic benefits,” Pres. Shui-bian said.

Chen said that the Philippines has already become an important destination for Taiwanese businessmen looking to invest in Southeast Asia.

“Investment from Taiwanese businessmen in the Philippines has reached US$750 million, making the country the fifth biggest foreign investor in the Philippines,” Chen said. “Taiwan is a major trade partner of the Philippines.”

Chen had further said that Taiwan’s information industry would be pleased to share its more than 20 years of industry development with the Philippines.

The two countries, he added, should draw up a global strategy to combine Taiwan’s manufacturing skills with the Philippines’ marketing and distribution capabilities.

Upon arrival back in the Philippines, Philippine-China Business Council chair Jimmy Po said that key business leaders have made commitments to close the gap between the total value of goods exported by Taiwan to the Philippines and those that it imports from our country.

The group that signed the agreement included Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) chairman emeritus Alberto Fenix, Semiconductors and Electronics Industry of the Philippines chair Francis Ferrer, and Computer Manufacturers, Distributors and Dealers Association of the Philippines chair Salvador Strilla immediately acted to operationalize the agreement at the Philippine end.

In a meeting at International Trade Group office of the Department of Trade and Industry, the group decided to activate a task force that will deal with the Taipei group in hammering out joint projects.

They also decided to form a foundation dedicated to expanding bilateral trade, investment, cultural relations between the two economies.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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