Taiwanese manufacturers Winstron Infocomm Corp. and Catcher Technologies are preparing to move out of China to relocate to the Philippines in 2019, the Board of Investments said.
The BoI said Winstrom revisited the list of incentives it enjoyed during its stint in Subic Bay Freeport and decided that the incentives they were given here were still the best package. Winstron is a parts supplier for Apple.
Catcher, a supplier or aluminum casing for mobile phones and laptops, committed to invest in a manufacturing plant in the Philippines.
“What happened was that Taiwan has grown increasingly bullish about the Philippines for a number of reasons. First, it can have access to the world market via the FTA and GSP agreements the Philippines currently enjoys with partner countries. A stable wage economy and less strikes regime were other come-ons for Taiwanese firms “ said BoI managing head Ceferino Rodolfo.
Taiwan has a thriving electronics manufacturing sector and is heavy on toll manufacturing. However, it cannot sign free trade agreements with other countries because of the One China policy.
The only FTA it has is with Singapore and New Zealand.
Earlier reports indicated that Winstron was eyeing Vietnam or the Philippines for its manufacturing plant, but the company subsequently announced that the Philippine would host its operations as a returning investor.
It also proposed to bring with it one of its biggest suppliers, Catcher Technologies, to produce aluminum casing for iPhones and Apple laptops. The company asked for at least 60 hectares of land where they can build the facility.
Rodolfo said both companies did not disclose yet how much they would invest in the country, “but they have firmed their commitments with us.”
He said Japan was also raring to invest in the Philippines after a Philippine trade mission visited 30 to 40 companies in Japan. Their only concern is the impact of the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities or Trabaho bill on foreign investments.
“I told them that they will be given a choice once they locate here. They can avail of the classic or current set of incentives or they can go to Trabaho bill,” Rodolfo said.
He said both Taiwan and Japan were eyeing the Philippines as an attractive place for investments because of its growing economy, respect to intellectual property rights and English proficiency.