The Office of the Commercial Counsellor, also known as the Philippine Trade & Investment Center (PTIC), is the overseas arm of the Department of Trade and Industry and attached to the Philippine Embassy in Indonesia. Its primary mission is to promote Philippine exports to and investments from Indonesia.

The Office is currently headed by Commercial Counsellor Roman G. Baltazar, who is assisted by Ms. Mulyati Djuari on investment matters and by Ms. Deasy Ratu Puspita on trade matters.

To accomplish its mission, the Office provides the following services to the private sector of both countries:
  1. Business matching activities in the trade and investment sectors;
  2. Consultancy on trade and investment policies;
  3. Facilitation of trade and investment transactions;
  4. Assistance in the identification of trade and investment opportunities;
  5. Organization/participation in trade and investment events as fairs, conferences and round-table discussions; and,
  6. Assistance in resolving trade and investment disputes

Over the past five (5) years or from 2004 to 2008, trade between the two countries has grown in leaps and bounds, from US$1.46 bil. in 2004 to US$2.89 bil. in 2008, with the balance of trade consistently in Indonesian’s favor. The balance of trade in the 1st quarter of 2009 also remained in Indonesia’s favor, in the amount of US$571 mil.

The following products/commodities represented the top five (5) exports to and imports from Indonesia by the Philippines

  1. Milk and cream, concentrated or containing added sugar
  2. Electronic integrated circuits and micro assemblies
  3. Parts and accessories (other than covers, carrying cases)
  4. Parts of accessories of the motor vehicles of heading no. 8701
  5. Ferrous waste and scrap; re-melting scrap ingots of iron or steel
  1. Coal; briquettes, ovoid’s and similar solid fuels manufactured
  2. Cooper ores and concentrates
  3. Copper wire
  4. Motor cars and other motor vehicles
  5. Parts of accessories of the motor vehicles of heading no. 870
Investment relations between the two countries continue to prosper, with several Philippine companies investing/doing business in sectors as the airline industry, mining, food, fish canning, beverages, packaging, garments and the restaurant business. Indonesian companies, on the other hand, are into telecommunications, infrastructure, trading, beverages, water bottling, coconut processing, electronics, pharmaceutical, retail, power and the manufacture of household items.

It is anticipated that many investments eventually will come on stream in the food, mining and fishing sectors, taking into account the liberal attitude of the two countries in the food and mining sector and the restrictive fishing policies that the Indonesian government had put into place which could lead to the formation of joint ventures in fish processing, including canning operations, that could locate particularly in Indonesia. Another factor that will come into play in the growth of investments is the membership of both countries in ASEAN that promotes schemes as AFTA and CEPT to boost trade and investments within the regional bloc.

The Department of Trade and Industry has identified the following revenue streams which represent the core of its business development program:

  • Customer Contact Center
  • Back-Office BPO (HR, Financial, Accounting, Administrative Services)
  • Health Information Management (Medical Transcription, Medical Billin, ePharma, etc)
  • Computer Graphics/ Animation
  • Software Development
  • Engineering Design
  • Game Development
  • Electronic Data Processing Equipment
  • Office Equipment
  • Telecommunications Equipment
  • Communications and Radar
  • Control and Instrumentation
  • Medical and Industrial
  • Automotive Electronics
  • Consumer Electronics
Motor Vehicles
  • Assembly of Motor Vehicles (CBU)
  • Manufacturing of Parts/Components
Marine Products
  • Live fish
  • Fresh/chilled/frozen fish
  • Tuna (fresh/chilled/frozen, dried/smoked, canned)
  • Crustaceans (shrimps/prawns, crabs, lobsters, etc.)
  • Mollusks (octopus, scallops, abalone, trepang, etc.)
  • Milkfish
  • Fish fillets and other processed fish
  • Seaweeds and Carrageenan
Mineral Products
  • Precious Metals
  • Iron and Ferro-Alloy Metals
  • Base Metals • Fertilizers Minerals
  • Industrial Minerals
  • Gemstone and Decorative Minerals
  • Fresh Food
    • Banana
    • Mango
    • Pineapple
    • Asparagus
  • Processed Food
    • Processed Fruit
    • Nuts/Coco Products
    • Sugar and sugar preparations
    • Beverages
    • Cereal and cereal preparations
    • Coffee Products
    • Meat Products
    • Sauces/condiments
    • Confectionery
    • Cocoa Products
    • Processed Vegetables
    • Tea Products
    • Dairy Products
    • Miscellaneous edible preparations
  • Fashion Garments
  • Custom Jewelry
  • Fine Jewelry
  • Leather Goods
  • Footwear
  • Hats and Head Gears
  • Other fashion accessories (shawls, scarves, socks, handkerchief)
Homestyle and Living
  • Furniture
  • Houseware
  • Gifts
  • Holiday decor
Organic and Natural Products
  • Fresh and processed organic certified food
  • Herbal and natural supplements
  • Plant-based herbal and natural products (drugs)
  • Herbal and natural cosmetics (beauty) and personal care products
  • Natural ingredients for cosmetics, personal care and pharmaceutical products
Construction Materials and Services
  • Non-metallic mineral based
  • Wood-based minerals
  • Bamboo and other resource-based materials
  • Metal and other metal based
  • Chemical based
  • Construction Contracting Services
  • Construction Consultancy Services
  • Transportation
  • Warehousing, Materials Handling and Packaging
  • Order Processing and Distribution
  • Facility Network
  • Inventory Control and Management
Health and Wellness
  • Healthcare/medical services
  • Healthcare and wellness data
  • Drugs and medicines included in the Essential Drug List
  • Food supplements limited to Vitamin A, Iron and iodine for use in the Food Fortification Law
  • Herbal medicines
  • Active Substances/Ingredients
The country welcomes all investments, with certain limitations placed on the extent of foreign ownership on enterprises engaged in a number of economic activities. Basic rights and guarantees of investors include the right to repatriate the entire proceeds of liquidation of the investment; right to remit profits, capital gains and dividends, right to obtain foreign exchange to meet foreign exchange obligations, freedom from expropriation by the government of the property without just compensation, freedom from requisition of the property represented by the investment or of the property of enterprises without just compensation.

Major laws on investments include the Omnibus Investments Code, the Foreign Investments Act, and the Special Economic Zone Act. The Omnibus Investments Code, enacted in 1987, codified all laws on investments in the Philippines. The Foreign Investments Act of 1991 prescribed procedures for the registration of enterprises doing business in the Philippines while the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995 was enacted to promote investments in the countryside, with enterprises located in these zones given entitlements of fiscal incentives and other benefits.

The Board of Investments draws up annually an Investment Priorities Plan. For 2009, the coverage defined preferred activities in the Regular List (agriculture /agribusiness and fishery, infrastructure, engineered products, tourism, business process outsourcing, creative industries, strategic activities, research and development), the Mandatory List (projects that require their inclusion in the IPP as provided for under existing laws - Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines, Philippine Mining Act of 1995, Printing, Publication and Content Development of Books or Textbooks, Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, Renewable Energy Act of 2008), Export Activities (manufacture of export products, export services, activities in support of exporters) and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) List (export activities, agriculture, food and forestry-based industry, basic industries, consumer manufactures, infrastructure and services, engineering industries, ARMM priority and tourism areas) .

The Special Economic Zone Act of 1995, on the other hand, was created to encourage economic growth through the development of special economic zones called “Ecozones”. Ecozones are areas designated by the government for development into balanced agricultural, industrial, commercial and tourist/recreational regions.These are areas designated by the government for development into balanced agricultural, industrial, commercial, and tourist/recreational regions.

Ecozones are divided into the following types:
1. Industrial Estates (IEs) are tracts of land developed for the use of industries. They have basic infrastructure such as roads, water and sewage systems, pre-built factory buildings, and residential housing for the use of the community.

2. Export Processing Zones (EPZs) are special export zones whose locator companies are mainly export-oriented. EPZ incentives include tax- and duty-free importation of capital equipment, raw materials and spare parts.

3. Free Trade Zones are areas nearby ports of entry, such as seaports and airports. Imported goods may be unloaded, repacked, sorted and manipulated without being subjected to import duties. However, if these goods are moved into a non-free trade zone, they will be subjected to customs duties.

4. Tourist & Recreational Centers contain establishments that cater to both local and foreign visitors to the Ecozones. Such businesses include hotels, resorts, apartments and other sports facilities.

Another law, The Bases Conversion & Development Act of 1992 designated the following areas as Special Economic Zones :
  • Subic Naval Base
  • Clark Air Base
  • Camp John Hay (Baguio City)
  • The Wallace Air Station (San Fernando, La Union)
  • The O"Donnell Transmitter Station
  • The San Miguel Naval Communications Station
  • The Mt. Sta. Rita Station (Hermosa, Bataan)
The two major special economic zones have the following features:
  • Subic Bay Special Economic and Freeport Zone
The zone had been established by the Philippine Government with the aim of developing the area into a self-sustaining industrial, commercial, financial and investment centre in the Philippines.Subic Bay is located 80 km northwest of Manila, in the province of Zambales, and a short distance north of the entrance to Manila Bay. It is strategically located near major international shipping lanes in the South China Sea. It offers a natural harbor that is protected on 3 sides by mountains and is only a three-hour drive from manila.
  • Clark Special Economic Zone
The Philippine government aims to develop the CSEZ as a new industrial town site and as a major civil aviation complex for international passengers and cargo. Clark Field, located in the CSEZ, has been designated as the site of a premier international airport.

The territory of the CSEZ includes the former U.S. Clark Air Base and its extensions located within Angeles City, municipalities of Mabalacat and Porac in Pampanga and the municipality of Capas in Tarlac. The CSEZ covers a total area of approximately 28,041 ha.

Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)
16th Floor, Wisma Kosgoro
Jalan M. H. Thamrin No. 53
Jakarta Pusat 10350
Telephone: (+6221) 315.0109
Fax: (+6221) 314.9773

For more information on trade and investment, you may wish to visit the following websites:
Department of Trade & Industry
Board of Investment
Philippine Economic Zones Authority
Center for International Exposition and Missions
Philippine International Trade Corporation