The Philippines stands to benefit from China’s new world order, as the Asia’s economic giant is bullish in opening its market in response to external headwinds due to trade protectionism.
HSBC Private Banking Managing Director and Head of Investment Strategy and Advisory for Asia Fan Cheuk Wan said in a media roundtable here Wednesday that China’s economy is expected to be more engaging and will strengthen its economic collaboration with regional partners, particularly ASEAN member states.
Fan highlighted investment opportunities in the region arising from China’s industrial policy. As part of its new world order, China aims to bring investments in 10 key strategic sectors such as new information technology, numerical control tools, aerospace equipment, high-tech ships, railway equipment, energy saving, new materials, medical devices, agricultural machinery, and power equipment.
“We expect China in this new world order would become even more engaging with the regional economy, through the Belt and Road Initiative. Enhanced economic collaboration with Asian trade partners including ASEAN, we would expect intra-regional trade to expand,” said Fan.
“So there’s sharp increase in Chinese exports of machinery and transport equipment to emerging markets, and this is going to be a mitigating factor to offset the impact of slower global trade related to the U.S.,” she added.
HSBC Private Banking Chief Market Strategist Williem Sels noted that the industrial policy direction of China points to sourcing more products in the upper value chain.
“China is going up in terms of trade. So the things that China will want from the Philippines, as well if you got offered, is more and more going up [the value chain],” said Sels.
Moreover, Fan mentioned that as China focus on development strategy on industrial and consumption in the next five years, the country will be seeking other markets with lower production cost.
“When China is upgrading its technological standards for manufacturing sector, on one hand, they are also seeking for alternative production base.
They have been increasing outward direct investments. This is going to be a sustainable trend,” Fan pointed out.
With this, competitive production cost offered by ASEAN countries will be attractive to Chinese enterprises, Fan said.
She noted that the Philippines’ competitive advantage among its ASEAN peers is its robust domestic economy, which expanded by 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2018.
She added that the improvement in bilateral relations between the governments of the Philippines and China would provide favorable environment to take advantage of the rising outward direct investments from China.
“When you look at the data in 2017, Chinese investments in the Philippines has sustained really strong growth and this is likely to be an ongoing trend in 2018,” Fan said.