Korean manufacturers eye Phl operations

By Louella Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Oct 20 2012 10:51 AM | Updated as of Oct 20 2012 06:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Korean manufacturers of construction equipment are looking at producing the equipment in the Philippines given the availability of manpower and the country’s geographical location.

ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) – Korea Center Secretary General Hae Moon Chung told reporters on the sidelines of an investment forum that some Korean firms are interested in investing in the Philippines for the manufacture of excavators and other related equipment.

“These companies are interested in looking at the market for construction equipment and some are looking at producing equipment in the Philippines,” he said.

Some 14 Korean firms are part of an investment forum organized by the intergovernmental organization ASEAN-Korea Center, which seeks to increase trade and accelerate investment flows in the ASEAN and South Korea.

Chung however declined to identify the firms.

He said the Korean companies are looking at the Philippines given the availability of manpower here.

He said the Philippines’ geographical location makes it attractive since it is not very far from South Korea.

He noted though that the country, just like other members of the ASEAN, still lacks a developed manufacturing sector.

“Other than agricultural products, there is not much to export,” he said.

A developed manufacturing sector would allow the country to export more products to Korea and other markets.

Chung said the ASEAN-Korea Center intends to organize more business missions to help increase trade and investments between the two countries.

Since 2006, data from the ASEAN-Korea Center showed trade volume between the two countries has increased 1.8 times from $6.1 billion to $10.9 billion last year.

Korean investments to the Philippines meanwhile, has reached $885 million as of the first-semester.

Last year, investments made by Korean firms to the country amounted to $206 million.