S'pore firms 'can be part of Philippine success story'

S'pore firms 'can be part of Philippine success story'

Businesses in Singapore are now presented with opportunities "to be part of the Philippine success story, and vice-versa", President Tony Tan Keng Yam said, citing the growth momentum set in motion by the administration of Philippine leader Benigno Aquino.

In a speech before members of the Philippine-Singapore Business Council (PSBC) yesterday, Dr Tan said the Philippine economy "has performed remarkably well over the past few years".

This, he said, has generated "great interest" among companies in Singapore looking for opportunities to expand abroad.

"There will be many opportunities for Singapore businesses to be part of the Philippine success story, and vice-versa," he added.

International Enterprise (IE) Singapore conducted seven business trips to the Philippines, and hosted six similar visits from the Philippines last year alone.

"I expect this number to grow, as more Singapore professionals and entrepreneurs venture here to tap the Philippines' growth potential," said Dr Tan.

IE Singapore also established an overseas centre in Manila three months ago to help businesses in Singapore navigate the business environment in the Philippines.

The Philippine economy grew 7.2 per cent last year, and the International Monetary Fund expects this upward trajectory to continue in the next few years.

Long-term foreign investments, meanwhile, surged 20 per cent to US$3.9 billion (S$4.9 billion) last year, and exports in January grew 9.3 per cent to US$4.38 billion.

PSBC co-chairman Loh Chin Hua, chief executive of Keppel Corp, said there is optimism among Singapore businessmen about the Philippine economy.

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