Around 20 Hong Kong-based envoys and businessmen were quite charmed and enamored with their recent three-day visit to Cebu as they got to experience a fun-filled itinerary consisting of shopping, island hopping and dining at the various tourism landmarks situated in and around the city.
The delegates who came from Singapore, Angola, Taiwan, Djibouti and Mozambique went along the tour to explore various business and leisure options and to examine Cebu’s potentials in investment and trade opportunities.
This was bared in an exclusive interview with Hon. Bernardita Catalla, Consul General of the Philippines in Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) who has led various diplomatic tours within the Philippines for the third year in a row to showcase the best of the Philippines to her fellow diplomats.
“Cebu has always been modern and dynamic. They all loved it in Cebu, as well as their stay in a posh Mactan resort. It was fortunate that I met Melanie Ng, Cebu Chamber president, in President Rodrigo Duterte’s trip to China. She then invited me to bring my group to Cebu, to which I gladly obliged,” she told Expat at a dinner event held at the Golden Prince Hotel & Suites.
Speakers during the dinner included Benjamin Yap, head of the Cebu Investment Promotion Office based at the Provincial Capitol, who pointed out that Cebu is largely service-oriented with 55 percent of the workforce belonging in the service industry, 39 percent in the industrial front, and only six percent in agriculture. Its 11 ecozones, 28 IT centers, and 250-strong workforce has produced a total of US$4.8 billion in total exports in 2015.
Catalla stated that Cebu’s prized assets in Business Process Outsourcing (BPOs) and manufacturing would go a long way with the Singapore and Taiwanese businessmen who expressed interest in establishing links with local counterparts.
The past couple of years has witnessed Catalla leading different diplomatic groups to Boracay and Manila in April 2015; Makati, Bohol, Dumaguete, and Oslob, Cebu in Oct. 2015; Tagaytay, CALABARZON (Calamba, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) a year ago; and other places such as Bonifacio Global City, Tagaytay, and Palawan.
By RICHARD RAMOS