Five Malaysian companies signed Letters of Intent (LOIs) to invest in the Philippines particularly in the areas of food processing, multi-service digital platforms, logistics, manufacturing, among others, according to Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in a statement on Thursday, said that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. along with Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual attended a series of meetings with Malaysian businesses, which forms part of the president’s state visit to Malaysia.
During the one-on-one business meetings, DTI said five Malaysian companies signed LOIs, which it said is a “testament to the increasing trust and confidence of foreign companies toward the Philippines’s improved business environment.”
Among the five companies, the agency noted, is Malaysian dairy company Farm Fresh Berhad, which expressed its interest to expand in the Philippines through cattle breeding intended for milk production.
According to DTI, this investment costs US$20 million and is set to commence its operations by 2028 with an estimated employment of 200 local workforce.
DTI said the US$20-million investment is for another 200 to 400 hectares of contiguous farmland intended to raise 2,000 milking cows.
The Trade department also noted that the dairy company has an ongoing construction of 6,000-square meter dairy processing facility in Pampanga.
DTI said the Malaysian dairy company is currently targeting either Batangas or Laguna as its location.
Meanwhile, Pascual said, “We are optimistic that these signed LOIs will materialize in the coming months.”
However, he underscored that it is important to understand that “investments are typically long-term commitments rather than immediate action.” He added that these often require “careful study, planning, and legal processes before they can materialize.”
The Trade chief divulged that these investments are related to food processing, multi-service digital platforms, aviation, aviation maintenance support service, logistics, manufacturing, infrastructure, and water and wastewater treatment.
Moreover, he said, “We expect that these will greatly contribute to our pursuit of economic recovery and expansion in the form of 8.365 estimated jobs to be created.”
In a statement on Thursday, DTI said, “The Philippines and Malaysia have a longstanding bilateral relationship and have been trade and business partners for years. In 2022, Malaysia was held as the Philippines’ 10th major trading partner and 11th export market.”
Moreover, it noted that foreign direct investment (FDI) net inflows from Malaysia in 2022 showed a “massive increase” of 505 percent compared to the total investment value in 2021.
This, DTI said, reflected a 17.8-percent share of the total FDI inflows from ASEAN and one of the Philippines’s major sources of approved foreign investments in the region.