Taiwan and Philippines ink bilateral investment agreement, despite protests from China

Taiwan and the Philippines sign a new bilateral investment agreement in Makati

(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan and the Philippines signed a new bilateral investment agreement (BIA) yesterday (Dec. 7), the first new major investment agreement between the two countries in 25 years, as well as the first Taiwan has signed with another country under the New Southbound Policy, reported CNA. 

The BIA was signed in the Philippine city of Makati at the Dusit Thani Hotel by Taiwan's representative to the Philippines Gary Song-huann Lin (林松煥) and his Filipino counterpart Angelito Banayo. Taiwan's Vice Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花) and the Philippines' Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo were also present to witness the ceremony. 

As the signing of the agreement had been announced to the media ahead of time, China's government filed a protest to the Philippines to try and convince it to abort the agreement at the last minute, however the two representative offices continued with their plans and the two sides signed the document yesterday. 

Lin said that the previous BIA between Taiwan and the Philippines, which was signed in 1992, is outdated and the new one is designed to adjust to changes in the modern market. 

Although the details of the agreement have not yet been disclosed to the public, officials did disclose to CNA that its focus would be on transparent laws and regulations, equal treatment of investors, expanding targeted industries, dispute settlement mechanisms, and coordination with counterpart government agencies on dealing with violent labor disputes. 

Taiwan's Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said that this first investment agreement signed under the New Southbound Policy will provide more protection to Taiwanese investors and give them a better understanding of the Philippine market, thereby driving economic development on both sides to create a win-win scenario. 

Allan Lin (林在良), president of Taiwan Association Inc. Philippines, said that the agreement will provide a legal basis for Taiwanese investors in the Philippines that will help better resolve and lessen disputes over investments in his country. 

Hsieh Shih-ying (謝世英), Honorary President of the Taiwan Business Association of the Philippines said in the future, when Taiwanese businessmen have an investment dispute in the Philippines, they will have a legal channel through which they can resolve the situation.