Russian firms seek business opportunities in PHL

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Russian companies are on the lookout for opportunities in the Philippines particularly in the sectors of transport infrastructure, aerospace, iron and steel, automotive, power generation equipment, minerals processing, and agriculture.

The DTI said in a statement Thursday that it received a 21-man delegation from Russia last week led by Russian Deputy Minister for Economic Development Alexey Gruzdev. The Russian delegation and DTI officials reportedly talked about the strengthening of economic relations between Manila and Moscow to further increase two-way trade and investment during a roundtable meeting.

During their meeting, Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investments Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo encouraged the Russian businessmen to make the Philippines their gateway to ASEAN and other Asian markets.

Rodolfo added that the Philippines can also complement Russian firms’ existing business operations in Europe. This is because of the Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) granted by the European Union (EU) to the Philippines that allows some 6,274 goods from the country to enter the EU market with zero duties.

Late last year, Moscow-based BT SVAP LLC expressed its interest to establish its first manufacturing plant in the Philippines. The Russian firm is involved in pipeline coating for industrial uses.

It was noted that Russian businessmen became bullish about the Philippines after the meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Russian President Vladimir Putin in May 2017.

In 2017, Philippine exports to Russia increased by 23 percent to USD61 million from USD50 million a year ago. Russia is the country’s 37th biggest export market and 24th biggest import source.

The Philippines and Russia established a Joint Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation in 2015. The first JCTEC meeting was held January 2017 in Manila. PNA