Argentina and South Korea to have huge investment in Cebu Philippines

Argentinean transnational firm eyes making hefty investments in Central Philippine project

An Argentinean multinational pharmaceutical company is eyeing to build a manufacturing plant in the Philippines, a move which, if realized, should further boost trade relations between both countries.

Martin Lo Coco, executive director of the Argentine Chamber of Commerce for Asia and the Pacific, revealed that Bagó Laboratorios, a multinational company based in Argentina is now considering the possibility of putting up a manufacturing plant in the Philippines, in addition to existing plants established by the company in Vietnam and Taiwan.

Bagó Laboratories is owned by the Bagó Group, a major Argentine business firm with a strong presence in several Latin American countries. The group comprises of different companies focused on health care and on improving quality of life as well as providing high-tech services in strategic areas.

Lo Coco, who led Argentinean businessmen in a business matching session with the delegation from the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) in Buenos Aires, said the investment could further revitalize trade relations between the Philippines and Argentina.

“Our trade relation for now is still not that strong but the future will be great especially with the plan of Bago to open a big plant in the Philippines,” Lo Coco told Manila Bulletin before the official start of the business matching session.

Melanie Ng, CCCI’s head of trade mission, said the first day of the business matching session proved to be very successful even as Argentina was on a national holiday. She said local businessmen met with their

Argentine counterparts and discussed ways to build viable partnerships in business.

Arvin de Leon, minister and consul general of the Philippine embassy in Argentina, said now is a good time for both countries to strengthen business relations and stressed that the trade mission being conducted by the Cebu provincial government and the CCCI is a “great start.”

Korean Firm Mulls $400-M Underwater Visayas-Mindanao Power Connection

Korea’s Advanced Management Development Association (AMDA) mulls a $400-million underwater cable that would link the Visayas and Mindanao power grid with supply coming from the Leyte geothermal power plant.

Cristino L. Panlilio, trade and industry undersecretary for trade and investments promotion said the potential investment was facilitated by business and consulting firm ZMG Ward Howell.

There is also the potential of another underwater cable that would connect power from Batangas to Mindanao.

The company is expected to consult with National Grid Corp. of the Philippines if it decides to proceed with its plan, he said.

Panlilio has met with AMDA managing director Hyung soo Kim during the recently concluded Korean investment mission accompanying the visit of Korean president Lee Myung-Bak..

In addition, Panlilio said that water filtration company ANT (Advanced New Technology) 21 of Korea is also looking at working with water concessionaires in the country for the provision of clean water and sewerage treatment technology.

The company is eyeing for partnerships with Maynilad and other water concessionaires in other parts of the country.

With its in-depth experience in research and on-site consulting, ANT21has accumulated know-how in environmental technologies, especially in water treatment technology.

ANT21's goal is to solve environmental problems using its accumulated know-how and to provide economic profits for businesses and agreeable environment for people.

ANT21 is exerting its best efforts to achieve these goals with service oriented mind set and unflinching determination.

Bilateral relations between the Philippines and Korea have never been this dynamic with both countries enjoying robust growth in trade, investments and tourism.

In terms of bilateral trade, both countries posted total trade of $9.3 billion in 2010 almost doubling the $5.2 billion level five years ago.

Annual trade of Korean firms also jumped more than five folds to $390 million in 2010.

In terms of investments, Korea has become the Philippines third largest country investor since 2009.

Hanjin Heavy Industries is the country’s biggest Korean investor with $1.9 billion for a shipyard facility in Subic freeport that is now employing over 20,000 people. Hanjin is now exporting ocean-going vessels to various firms.

Hanjin’s huge investment has catapulted the Philippines as the world’s fourth largest ship maker. Other Hanjin investments include Phoenix Semiconductor Philippines Corp., a local unit of Samsung Electronics.

In terms of tourist arrivals into the country, Koreans topped the list. There have been 610,000 Korean tourists in the country as of August this year. There are also huge Korean communities in the country numbering 120,000.

From the Philippine side, there are 350,000 Filipinos working in South Korea.

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