SteelAsia, HBIS ink USD1-B investment deal for Batangas plan

SteelAsia, HBIS ink USD1-B investment deal for Batangas plan

There is a fresh USD1 billion invest for the Philippines that was signed during the Philippine-China Business Forum, a side event of President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China.

SteelAsia Manufacturing Corporation, the country’s largest steelmaker signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China’s HBIS Group Limited for the establishment of their first integrated iron and steel facility in Lemery, Batangas.

Under the MOU, SteelAsia and HBIS will invest around USD1 billion for phase one of the Lemery plant.

An iron and steel facility
(photo credit to owner)

“As DTI pursue a number of strategic projects, an important investment priority is the establishment of the first-ever modern, environment-friendly integrated steel mill project in the Philippines,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

“This is pursuant to the vision of President Duterte to establish the first integrated iron and steel plant during his term, which will allow the country to produce basic iron and steel products, including flat products. These are currently not being produced in the Philippines,” he said.

The investment agreement of the two corporation has the intention to support the Philippines bid to be a major producer of high quality and safe steel products by 2030.

DTI chief Ramon Lopez noted another Chinese firm, Panhua Group, is interested to invest in integrated steel making in the country.

“Our bilateral relations with China is at a high level and is opening many business opportunities between our two nations,” Lopez said.

Lopez added since Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping have exchanged visits starting 2016, China has been pushing for more investments into the Philippines with their Belt and Road Initiative.

According to Lopez, China is the country’s fourth (4th) largest source of foreign direct investments (FDI) in 2018 amounting to USD198.7 million. 

Prior to the entry of the Duterte administration, the Asian giant was not even in the top 10 of  investors in the country, with FDI from China in 2015 only reaching around USD500,000. 

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Report from PNA

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