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Taiwanese firms seeking to steer clear of US-China trade war turn to PH

/ 05:08 AM December 27, 2018

Some Taiwan-based manufacturing firms that supply parts to popular tech companies like Apple are interested in setting up shop in the Philippines, as they look for ways to avoid the US-China trade war.

Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said this earlier this month, telling reporters that some companies were already “firm” in their plans to manufacture here in the Philippines.

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Interestingly, a bilateral investment agreement, which raised serious concerns from China, had helped the country’s case in getting these Taiwan-based firms to consider the Philippines.

These firms include computer giant Wistron Infocomm Corp., which will make a comeback nearly a decade since it left the country, a return brought about by the expensive US-China trade war.

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Taiwan-based Catcher Technology, which also has operations in various parts of China, is likewise interested to set up shop in the Philippines.

Rodolfo said it was looking for a 60-hectare area for its facility.

Further details, such as investment costs, were not disclosed, however.

Nevertheless, the investment agreement signed by the Department of Trade and Industry with Taiwan last year played a part, even though China believes that Taiwan should have no official foreign ties.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said China was “extremely concerned” over the matter since the documents signed were “obviously official in character,” according to a Reuters report.

“We enhanced [our relations] to a bilateral [investment] agreement, which was signed last year. So they saw this, and we also have protection for intellectual property rights,” Rodolfo said.

“They see that it’s good here in the Philippines, so Wistron

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—that’s one [example]—is going [back] to Subic,” he explained.

This is how we benefit from the trade war, he then added. —ROY STEPHEN C. CANIVEL

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TAGS: manufacturing firms, Taiwanese firms, Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo, US-China trade war
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