Freeman Cebu Business

US embassy executive vows to bring in investors to Cebu

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The United States government, through the U.S. Embassy in Manila, has pledged to bring American investors to Cebu following the re-activation of the Cebu Investments Development Concierge Center (CIDCC).

According to Paul Taylor, commercial counselor at the U.S. Commercial Service at the Embassy in Manila, with strengthened collaboration with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), which manages and operates the CIDCC, his office will be creating a bridge between the American investors and the CIDCC to accelerate the inflow of American investments to Cebu.

During the CIDCC-hosted Investment Forum and Networking Dinner held at the Radisson Blu Cebu, Taylor said that his office will not only connect interested investors from America to Cebu, it will also facilitate connection of Cebuano businesses wanting to explore investments to the United States.

“I had a meeting with CCCI three weeks ago, and we began a discussion on ways my office can partner formally with CCCI to create a bridge.  My office receives a number of inquiries (daily) from American companies asking for access to the Philippines,” Taylor said.

“I want to work with CCCI and bring those companies to Cebu,” he added.

Taylor highlighted the U.S. interest to help the aquaculture and fishery sectors, recognizing that these are two of the top priority industries for the Philippines, including Cebu.

“Through my office and my colleagues, we have an opportunity to leverage resources and bring in an enormous amount of assets to the fishery sector in particular,” he said explaining that US companies may bring in know-how and advanced technology in the seafood processing sector, fishery, and aquaculture industries, “tying our two countries together more closely.”

Prior to his Philippine assignment, Taylor was assigned to Indonesia. He mentioned that among other American investments, a US$50 million aquaculture plant in Indonesia was set up by an American company called “Forever Ocean” which employs thousands of workers and boosts Indonesia’s aquaculture export revenues. Similar investments may enter Cebu province, recognizing that Cebu is one of the top exporters of processed fish and aquaculture products both for domestic and export markets, next to Mindanao.

He also encouraged Filipino businessmen engaged particularly in these industries (seafood processing, aquaculture, and fishery) to consider expanding their market penetration in America, after all, he said the US has the largest consumer base.

Taylor explained the importance of setting up a presence or sales office in America to “bring together the supply chain a little bit closer.”

“If you wanna sell to Walmart, you need to have a sales office/representative down the street from Walmart,” he said.

The CIDCC is a project of the CCCI implemented in partnership with the Cebu City government signed as an Economic Recovery Stimulus project as a response to provide opportunities to COVID-19 disrupted businesses and adapt operations under the new normal by strengthening the local supply chain ecosystem, particularly for essential industries.

The City Government approved the project proposal in 2020 and released the funds to CCCI in January 2021.

Headed by a former Cebuano member of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Philippine Chapter Jay Yuvallos, CIDCC aims to make Cebu one of the premier investment gateways in the Asia Pacific. — (FREEMAN)

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