30 April 2013—Further ramping up its economic diplomacy efforts, the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur urged Malaysian and Filipino entrepreneurs and company executives to consider the numerous investment opportunities available in the Philippines.

Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya made this call at a Business Networking Reception at the Embassy's B. Vista Community Hall last April 25, which was attended by some 250 Filipino and Malaysian businessmen and women.

"I am excited and bullish about Philippine-Malaysia business engagements. Partnerships between our two countries' business sectors are on the rise. This is manifested by the growing presence of Philippine companies in Malaysia, such as PLDT-Malaysia, Century Motolite, Pancake House and Petron Bhd, as well as Berjaya, Genting Resorts World, CIMB, Maybank, AlloyMTD and other Malaysian companies in the Philippines," Ambassador Malaya said

"We are also happy that Filipinos are making a name for themselves here in Malaysia, in engineering, education, information technology and in other fields," the ambassador added.

For Malaysians and other foreigner investors, investment opportunities in the Philippines are in five areas: agribusiness, notably production and processing of rice, corn, livestock and poultry, tuna and fisheries, and high-value crops such as banana, mango, coconut, seaweed, rubber and palm oil; tourism and tourism infrastructure, including hotels, restaurants, air and sea transports, access roads; energy, electricity and projects under the Public Private Partnership (PPP); IT-Business Process Outsourcing; and franchising.

Total Malaysian investments, notably in construction and manufacturing, have been on an upswing in recent years: US$16.71 million in 2010; US$ 13.18 million in 2011; and US$ 31.31 million in the first nine months of 2012.

Speakers at the event included embassy Trade Counsellor Glenn Penaranda, Malaysia-Philippines Business Council (MPBC) Secretary and Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Alumni Association Malaysia (Kelab AIM) President Hajji Zulkifly Baharom, Forex Cargo proprietor Tess Dizon and PLDT Malaysia Chief Executive Officer Syed Darwish Bederi II.

Commercial Counsellor Penaranda updated the guests on the recent Philippine economic developments, notably the country's upgrade to "investment grade" by the credit agency Moody, and the trade and investment prospects in the country, and how businessmen and investors can take advantage of the booming Philippine economy. Haji Zulkipli Baharom provided an overview on the revival of the MPBC, especially after the visit of Vice President Jejomar Binay in May 2012, and its recent activities.

Ms. Dizon and Mr. Darwish, both Filipino businessmen in Malaysia, related their experiences doing business in Malaysia, and thanked the Embassy for its efforts to further economic diplomacy in Malaysia.

After the speeches, baritone Cipriano "Zip" de Guzman Jr. and soprano Jaime Charisse Sampano, who won parts in the Malaysian production of the opera Carmen, performed "Iyo Kailan Pa Man", "Rosas Pandan" and "Ikaw ang Mahal Ko", accompanied by Malaysian-based Filipina pianist Gladys Gulapa.

Guests also had the opportunity to visit booths of Philippine-based and owned companies during the reception. The Department of Tourism and the Social Security System, as well as companies such as SMART Pinoy, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Century Motolite, Ayala Land/Avida, Filinvest, Axxezz Accessories, and Forex Cargo showcased their products and services to those present.

The event was a follow-up to Embassy's highly successful economic diplomacy activities in 2012, notably the Philippines-Malaysia Investment Partnership Forum in May 2012 and the Networking Forum on Mindanao Investment Opportunities last November 2012. ENDbn2013-04-29b