BAGUIO CITY – Canadian investors are eying to infuse investments in four major industries in the Cordillera and Northern Luzon which would contribute in spurring economic growth and uplift the living condition of the people, Ambassador Neil Reeder said here.
Reeder who met with officers of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Baguio-Benguet Chapter at the Baguio Country Club (BCC) Monday, said the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is looking into bright prospects in the housing sector, education, information and communication technology (ICT) and tourism to contribute in boosting the generation of added employment opportunities for qualified local residents and uplift the skills and knowledge of competent young students.
“We want to explore other investment areas outside Manila and Cebu and provide our investors with good investment climate and excellent work force,” Reeder stressed.
In terms of housing, the Canadian envoy assured local housing developers to have direct contacts with two Canadian companies who are experts in the construction of durable housing units that could withstand over 250 kilometers of wind during the onslaught of natural disasters and prevent high casualties.
According to him, durability of housing units in calamity-stricken areas must be underscored during the construction period in order to save lives and damages that will be inflicted to properties during natural calamities.
In terms of providing deserving students with international caliber education, he cited interested students could avail of cheaper and quality education in order to hone their skills and knowledge in their respective chosen fields of profession
Ambassador Reeder pointed out that for the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, Canadian BPO companies want to increase the number of their employees from only 30,000 to around 80,000 to 100,000, especially in secondary and tertiary wave areas like Baguio City, Iloilo, Davao and Bohol in order to help decongest Manila and Cebu from too much concentration of the BPO industries.
“Our BPO companies are considering lesser traffic, good labor and good investment climate as the primary factors in the selection of their expansion areas like in Baguio City where workers speak the English language better,” Ambassador Reeder added.
In terms of tourism, Ambassador Reeder disclosed there are around 120,000 Canadians who visit the Philippines annually while only 45,000 to 50,000 Filipinos visit Canada every year.
He underscored it is now the job of the tourism department to aggressively promote the Philippines as a preferred tourist destination to Canadians so that they will opt to visit the Philippines instead of Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
Dr. Rhodora Ngolob, PCCI Baguio-Benguet Chapter president, lauded the Ambassador’s commitment to help boost investments in Baguio and Benguet, saying that it will be a start of a harmonious working relationship with Canadian investors.
“We must maximize the business potentials of Baguio and Benguet by attracting the influx of more foreign companies interested to put up their businesses to help generate more jobs, increase economic activities and provide people with sustainable sources of livelihood in the future to help improve the quality of life,” Ngolob stressed.