Photo courtesy of APBC

NSW—The Australian Philippine Business Council (APBC) received a team of Philippine trade officials and prominent business leaders on 16 March in Bangaroo, Sydney. The Philippine delegation was composed of Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano from the government sector, and Teresita Sy-Coson of SM Investments and Jose Concepcion III of RFM Corporation, among others from the private sector.

On the side of Australia, Australia’s Macquarie Bank Chairman Peter Warne, Chairman of TMIP Holdings David King, ANZ Philippines CEO Anna Green and Austral CEO David Singleton were the Australian executives present.

Philippine Ambassador to Australia Hon Minda Cruz-Calaguian was also in attendance.
APBC President Ed Alcordo acknowledged the Philippine government’s efforts in sustaining and strengthening the Australia-Philippines relationship, a tie which spanned over 70 years. In 2015, the two governments signed a comprehensive partnership agreement.

Lopez, meanwhile, said that trade between Australia and the Philippines should be pegged on the complementarity of industries and sectors where growth will be visible. He enumerated agri-based commodities, shipbuilding, construction and information technology and business process management services as possible collaborations.

The reception also saw the signing of letters of intent to invest in the Philippines from private-sector leaders and firms. These investments include setting up of an assembly plant for GPS tracking devices, development of a $10-million biomass power plant and construction of a $30-million hotel and residential place in Cebu. Both Philippine secretaries Lopez and Cayetano were on hand to witness the inking of the deal.

In a separate meeting post-reception, Singleton shared Austral’s shipyard operations in Cebu, Philippines and its plan of expansion. Australis the sole foreign company supplying aluminium-hulled ships to the US Navy. The ships are made in the Philippines and are exported to overseas clients such as Australia and Germany, according to Singleton.
The business reception was organised by the APBC and the Philippine Trade and Investment Centre in Sydney.

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