(22 October 2019, Honolulu, Hawaii) – The Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu assisted in organizing the Manila and Clark-leg of the 29th Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (FCCH) Joint Trade Mission to the Philippines from 14-22 October 2019. This year’s Trade Mission is jointly led by Consul General Joselito Jimeno, Hawaii State Representative John Mizuno, and FCCH President Dr. Nancy Walch. Trade Mission attendees participated in a number of activities during their week-long visit to the Philippines.
To kickstart the Trade Mission, the Consulate helped organize a Business Symposium on 14 October 2019 at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel featuring speakers from both public and private sectors. Representatives from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PCCI), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines (HIMAP), Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), QBO Innovation Hub, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and other private institutions gave insights to attendees on how to invest and do business in the Philippines.
On their second day, Trade Mission participants went to Centuria Medical Makati, a premier outpatient medical-IT facility, which features a wide array of healthcare service providers and wellness companies in a single location. They observed the operation of the medical facility and looked for best practices that may be adopted by healthcare centers in Hawaii.
Participants to the Trade Mission visited Clark on their third day in the Philippines. Representatives from Clark Development Corporation (CDC) provided an overview of Clark Freeport and Economic Zone and the different incentives available to locators, including income tax holidays, duty-free importation of capital goods, one-stop shop for business, among others. While in Clark, trade mission participants were able to observe the operations of three companies. Trade Mission delegates visited Connext Global Solutions, an IT-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) firm servicing clients from Hawaii, and Back Room, an offshoring company specializing in accounting and auditing services. These two organizations have found a home in Clark and have leveraged on the skills and talent of Filipinos in providing services to their global clientele. Trade Mission participants also went to the manufacturing facilities of Yokohama Tire Philippines, Incorporated and learned more about the benefits of operating a business inside an economic zone.
The Trade Mission also hopes to highlight the export quality of the products produced in the Philippines. Participants went around the various exhibits at Manila FAME on October 17. Manila FAME is the Philippine’s premiere lifestyle and furniture show which is held twice a year. For this October’s run of Manila FAME, the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu has endorsed a total of 27 trade buyers, including 18 trade mission participants, and one Top-Level Very Important Buyer (VIB). By bringing more people to see the products at Manila FAME, the Consulate hopes to increase the number of Philippine-made furniture and accessories exported to Hawaii.
After Manila FAME, the Trade Mission delegates went around Tarlac and different parts of Ilocos to explore business opportunities and other potential areas for collaboration between the State of Hawaii and the Philippines.
Two agreements were signed as a result of the Trade Mission. FCCH and the Quezon City Chapter of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry signed a Sister Chamber Agreement while Advantage Healthcare, a Hawaii-based company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Dr. Carl Balita Review Center to cooperate and have exchanges that will help improve the operations of the two businesses in the Philippines in and in Hawaii. Other potential deals are also being explored in the area of medical exchange as well as development of inter-island port facilities in Hawaii involving a Philippine-based company.
To learn more about sourcing products and doing business in the Philippines, interested parties may contact the Economic Section of the Consulate (phone: 808-429-4458 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org).