350 local SMEs eye China market
More than 600 small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from both China and the Philippines met during the weekend for a business matchmaking, the Bank of China (BOC) said.
In a statement, BOC said that some 320 SMEs from China and 350 SMEs from the Philippines joined the bank’s Cross-Border Trade and Investment Conference last Saturday.
“Our partnership with the Philippines aims to open opportunities for local businesses and bridge markets across the globe,” said BOC Country Head Deng Jun, adding that this would help use trade as a means for growth.
This followed better prospects for trade and investments between both countries as a result of President Duterte’s softer stance in asserting the country’s territorial rights over the West Philippine Sea.
“First we want to help the SMEs here to find opportunity in China, in the world. And we know that in China it is very difficult for SMEs to find counterparties abroad. Very difficult so the banks are offering these kinds of service to them. And we take these service as our social responsibility. Not for the profit. It’s not the proposal. And eventually if they need financing we finance them,” Deng said.
BOC said that participating SMEs were involved in food processing, building materials, furniture, agriculture, fisheries, e-commerce and IT, construction, construction equipment, textile and garments, iron and steel, tourism and real estate.
A six-step process, which could lead to multilateral matchmaking wherein one firm would connect with several others, was followed. This involved establishing a database, customer matching, remote online matchmaking, one-to-one meeting, onsite survey, and banking service.
Tourism was seen as one of potential areas of growth, a participant was quoted saying, especially given that only one percent of 100 million Chinese tourists went to the Philippines last year.
“We welcome this endeavor started by Bank of China. This matchmaking process provides a venue for Philippine SMEs to meet potential partners, customers and suppliers,” said Kristoffer dela Cruz, vice president for sales and marketing of Hopping Buddies Travel and Tours.