Duterte invites Russian firms to join PH infrastructure program
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has invited Russian companies to participate in the Philippines' infrastructure program, particularly in transportation and railway construction projects.
"I invite you to participate in the massive Build, Build, Build infrastructure program, especially in transport and railway construction where Russia has high expertise," Duterte said at the Philippines-Russia Business Forum in Moscow.
The Philippine president said he made the invitation because "investors have shown a strong trust and confidence" in his administration.
Duterte said that the Philippines offers "competitive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives" to qualified investment projects, which includes a 30% corporate earning tax holiday from 4 to 6 years from the start of commercial operations in the Philippines.
The following can also be enjoyed by Russia investors should they plan to start a business here in the Philippines:
- Expert earning, labor generation, and use of indigenous materials as an added bonus for next 3 years, subject to conditions
- Duty-free importation of capital equipment and raw materials and supplies used in exports
- Value-added tax refund for use of locally purchased raw materials and exports
- Foreign nationals who will be employed would also enjoy a special non-immigrant working visa
"Let me assure you that your investments are assured of gains and protection in my country," said Duterte on his second visit to Russia.
In the 2018 Global Competitiveness Report, Russia ranked 15th in terms of efficiency of train services, while the Philippines lagged at 100th place. The list was topped by Switzerland, followed by Japan, then South Korea.
At the Friday forum, several agreements were also signed ranging from food, nuclear power, and information exchange between companies. These are the following:
- Memorandum of Intent and exchange of information on investment environment and opportunities
- Memorandum of understanding on cooperation on information exchange and collaboration on business development aimed at promotion of trade and investment between the Philippines and Russia, members of Russia-ASEAN business council, and Philippine companies
- Memorandum of Intent on intention to jointly explore the prospects of cooperation in the construction of nuclear power plants in the Philippines
- Memorandum of Understanding for Century Pacific Food Incorporated to supply tuna and sardine products to Magnit Food Retail Chain
- Memorandum of Understanding for Century Pacific Food Incorporated to supply tuna and sardine products to Dalimo
- Memorandum of Understanding for Century Pacific Food, Incorporated to supply tuna and sardine products to LLC Dalpromryba
- Memorandum of Understanding for Century Pacific Agricultural Ventures Inc. to supply coconut milk products to Panasia Impex Company Limited
- Distributorship Agreement appointing Lifetruck International Incorporated as the exclusive sole distributor for the distribution, promotion, and sale of Sturmanskie watches in the Philippines
- Distributorship Agreement for the appointment of Lifetruck International Inc. as the exclusive sole distributor for the distribution, promotion, and sale of Kamaz vehicles in the Philippines
- Memorandum of Agreement for the promotion, distribution, and selling of IPP-NLS technologies, particularly Metatron Micro MRI Systems and its variations in the Philippines.
In 2018, trade between Moscow and Manila reached $1.36 billion or more than double the figure in 2017, when it hit $568 million.
Duterte was in Moscow on the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, for an official visit – his second after 2017. (READ: Duterte trumpets 'remarkable progress' of PH-Russia ties in Putin meeting) – Aika Rey/Rappler.com