Korean firms keen on moving to Philippines


Korean companies operating in traditional manufacturing hubs like China are “seriously thinking” of moving to the Philippines, according to the Korean Chamber of Commerce Philippines (KCCP).

KCCP president Edward Eun-Gap Chang said the Philippines was strategically located in the Asean, a booming market and an especially attractive one given the recent Asean-Korea free trade agreement (FTA). The Philippines’ young and English-speaking workforce gives the country an edge as well, he said.

However, Eun-Gap said decision makers in these companies were being deterred by limits on foreign ownership and other restrictions imposed in the Philippines.

A company that has to make a big investment in building a big factory, for example, may think twice since the land cannot be acquired and the property would have to be turned over to someone else eventually, he said.

Korean companies keen on expanding to the Philippines are engaged in the production of semiconductors and displays, automotive assembly, steel manufacturing and shipbuilding, according to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency.

There are existing Korean manufacturers in the Philippines, even in niche areas such as high-value garments, Eun-Gap said.

Power, airports and other infrastructure projects, renewable energy and agriculture are attractive sectors for prospective Korean investors, KCCP said earlier.

Korea Electric Power Corp. and the SK Group are particularly interested in power projects, Eun-Gap said. He said Hanjin, Daewoo, LG, Samsung and carmaker Hyundai were keen on expanding their operations in the Philippines.

As for the Philippines, it is expanding its economic zones (ecozones) to accommodate more locators, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) Director General Lilia B. de Lima told reporters.

The Philippines has at present 271 operating economic zones. “The developers are developing more economic zones. We won’t run out of new zones,” she said.

Peza hopes to attract more Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese and European investors to locate at the ecozones.

“They have the technology, they have the capital, but they don’t have human capital and we can offer the best human capital,” De Lima said.

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  • fishy_jojo

    dear writer, the family name is “chang”, not “eun-gap.” the full first name is “edward eun gap.” i presume “edward” is just an english nickname.

  • ah_ok_fine12

    nako sana wag below minimum wage, more investors more money, more employment– yung downside, under paid mga pinoy…
     ang dami factory – 12hrs ang shift, sweldo ng empleyado kakarampot na 250-300 … ayaw naman magreklamo ng mga empleyado– uunahin pa ba nila ung complaints kysa lamanan mga tyan nila- syempre hindi

  • Jabba




  • sigena

    karamihan ng koreans ng aabuso ng emplyado

  • Ricky070

    There is a video on YouTube showing a korean beating a filipino worker in Subic ship building factory.  Al Jazeera”s “101 East” TV magazine show also did a story on this. I can’t understand why these korean can be so cruel to their workers like this for no good reason.
    The other foreign ship builder company operating in the country are not like this and their safety
    standards are compliant with the law and they make sure to treat their workers like a human beings but koreans…what’s wrong with them. They need to treat their worker more nicely and humanely.

  • Ricky070

    The government needs to reform the foreign ownership laws of the country in order to attract more foreign investor to invest in the country.  It is clear now that the foreign ownership rule does not fully support the attractiveness of the country of FDI  but it only served to protect the vested interest of the oligarch in the country.  The foreign ownership law seems patriotic and nationalistic designed to look after and protect the interest of the Filipino people but if one were to look at it in more detail and examine it, it is actually doing some harm on the economic progress of the country and worst, the very purpose it was designed for is actually only benefiting the oligarch and their monopoly in the country, which further harm competition, progress and economic growth.  The Philippine economy can do better with out harmful laws that does not actually benefit the country.  Sure a patriotic and nationalistic foreign ownership law is needed in order to appease our sentiment in protecting the interest of the Filipino People but we should come up with a law that strikes a balance between our need to protect ownership of land and others in the country and the economic benefit in attracting foreign investor..  We need to compromised and reformed the foreign ownership law ASAP.

    • Glen Hale

      6% growth is predicted for PI here is your chance to grab it with both hands and you must realise other countries can offer more , so you need to do as above introduce a legal system  not the facade you have now , a justice system not a JUST US, honest police force all you have in place now are as phony as glass eye and run by people how could not arrange a 2 car parade.
      This is your big chance USA is bankrupt and will never get out of debt even if they stopped  spending on every thing now it will take 63 yrs to repay and the interest is 2.5 Million $ a second and rising,
      Companies will move where there is value for them so create it ASAP. 

  • legislex

    I appreciate the efforts of Koreans to relocate their business here in the Philippines.  I have to warn our Filipino brothers though of the business ethics of most Koreans.  They are not like Japanese businessmen who value honor over profits.  I have a lot of horrible experiences against these Koreans in the Philippines.  Even prestigious golf clubs now have unwritten standing policies against admitting Koreans to their clubs.   I just hope that I will be proven wrong later.  In the meantime, I choose not to deal with them.

  • Platypus09

    Another wow.. for the Philippines..

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