MANILA – A group of Malaysian businessmen is interested in further investing in the Philippines despite security risks in the southern part of the country.
Referring to the terrorism issue in Mindanao, particularly in Marawi, the businessmen – grouped under the soon to be formally established Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and Industries in the Philippines – said that it will not be a hindrance for investors to come in.
Edward Ling, the chamber’s president, said that what is going on in the southern region can be viewed as temporary, and noted how Malaysia has been involved in the peace process for Mindanao.
“Mindanao has a lot of room for growth and Malaysia is very involved in the Mindanao peace process,” Ling said.
Ling also expressed optimism about doing business in the Philippines as they prepare to launch the Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industries in the Philippines or MCCI.
He said, it is just right to let Malaysian businessmen know about the positive developments in the Philippines, citing improvements in the ease of doing business and the strong political will of the administration to carry out infrastructure projects and ensure peace and order.
According to MCCI’s Vice President Eric Yam, while they are aware of the corruption issues in the country, “we recognize that the government is doing something seriously and that could be conveyed by the chamber.”
“Corruption is everywhere but at least we know the government is doing something,” Yam added.
While several Malaysian companies have been operating in the Philippines for years already, the MCCI will only be launched formally next week with Malaysian Trade Minister Dato Sri Mustapa bin Mohammed expected to grace the event.
The group will serve as connection between Malaysian investors who are doing businees in the country to help promote opportunities between them.
MCCI said nanotechnology, IT, manufacturing and retail are among the industries that Malaysian businessmen are interested in and they will also be trying to bring to bring in Malaysians brands like Fipper and Mary Brown.
The launching of the first ASEAN country business chamber in the Philippines is expected to boost trade between Philippines and Malaysia, which has reached P218 billion or 3.6 percent of the country’s total foreign trade.