Taiwan’s trade promotion group wants world’s largest footwear producer in PHL

By Kris M. Crismundo

MANILA, Sept 6 (PNA) — The Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) in Manila eyes the world’s largest footwear manufacturer to enter in the Philippine market, TAITRA Director Harrison K.M. Lan said.

Lan told reporters that TAITRA is doing initiatives to attract Taiwanese footwear producer Pou Chen Corporation to locate in the Philippines.

Pou Chen manufactures athletic shoes for top global footwear brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Converse.

Lan mentioned that attracting Pou Chen to locate in the Philippines will translate to big investments and job generation.

“When they come they will build supply chain,” he said.

He added that there are three tiers under Pou Chen’s supply chain which involve 10 support companies in the first tier and 20 to 30 companies in the second tier while the firm can tap local factories as suppliers for the third tier.

He also cited opportunities for the Philippines once the country will attract the world’s largest footwear manufacturer.

Pou Chen’s smallest facility in Myanmar has created 10,000 jobs while its larger facilities in Vietnam and Indonesia employs 100,000 personnel for each country.

“They will invest by themselves for industrial park and they will need a lot of workers,” Lan noted.

“We are asking: Why they are not here because some other companies are already here?” he pointed out.

Stella International, a Taiwanese shoemaker for luxury brands, is already in the Philippines located at the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) in Central Luzon.

Stella is one of the globe’s five largest shoemakers which are all Taiwanese firms.

“For big companies like them, they don’t care if you already have industry partner now. They care is the support local government,” Lan noted.

“We check with them [Pou Chen] every season (to evaluate the Philippine market). But for big companies, they need to negotiate to the government. Only the government is very active for the foreign investors,” he added.

During the first week of the month, TAITRA brought 60 Taiwanese firms in the Philippines for a trade mission.

Taiwanese firms are now looking at expansions in Southeast Asian markets like the Philippines due to rising cost of doing business in China, said Lan. (PNA)