Singapore companies told: Invest in PH cities outside Manila

Pia Ranada
Singapore companies told: Invest in PH cities outside Manila


Singaporean President Tony Tan says his government will support the Duterte administration's push for inclusive economic growth by encouraging Singaporean companies to invest in cities like Cebu and Davao

SINGAPORE – Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam said his country fully supports President Rodrigo Duterte’s goal to ensure economic growth is felt in all corners of the Philippines, not just in Manila.

In his speech at a state banquet he hosted for Duterte on Thursday, December 15, Tan said the Singaporean government is encouraging Singapore companies to invest in other parts of the Philippines outside the national capital.

“In line with the current administration’s priorities for inclusive economic development, IE Singapore is also encouraging Singapore companies to venture beyond Metro Manila, into cities such as Davao and Cebu,” Tan said in his toast.

IE (International Enterprise) Singapore is the government agency that helps Singaporean companies expand their businesses abroad.

IE Singapore will be more active next year in promoting the Philippines as a country where Singaporean companies can invest, Tan said.

“I am pleased to note that IE Singapore is devoting more resources to step up its presence in the Philippines in 2017, to better serve the growing interest of Singapore companies in the Philippine market,” he said.

This year, IE Singapore was able to help some companies in the renewable energy and consumer products sector land their first projects in the Philippines, added the Singaporean leader.

Companies like Singtel, a major telecommunication company, and SIA Engineering “can contribute to the development of quality infrastructure, urban planning, and ICT (information communication technology) services,” said Tan.

Duterte previously said he wants to open up the telecommunications and energy sectors to foreign players to ensure quality service for Filipinos.

The Philippine President, in all 10 of his foreign trips so far, encouraged foreign businessmen to invest in the Philippines to create more jobs for Filipinos.

His administration wants to pave the way for the eradication of poverty by 2040, which experts say requires the Philippines to create 1.3 million to 1.5 million jobs every year for the next 20 years.

The challenge for the Duterte government, economic managers have said, is to ensure economic growth is inclusive or felt by all sectors of society.

Duterte and several Cabinet officials are in Singapore for a two-day state visit. (READ: Duterte, Singapore’s Lee agree to fight terrorism, drugs)

On Friday, December 16, Duterte and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez are set to meet with Singapore business leaders. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at