MANILA, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Chinese companies are creating a mass of local jobs in the Philippines, Secretary of Trade and Industry of the Philippines Ramon Lopez said on Friday.
The bulk of the workers hired by the Chinese companies here in the Philippines are Filipinos, Lopez told Xinhua in an interview.
"That is why we keep on inviting investors, especially from China. These Chinese companies are creating jobs," he said, adding that highly-skilled Chinese workers are also contributing their expertise in the country's ongoing massive infrastructure development.
According to the data from Chinese Enterprises Philippine Association, there are some 50 large Chinese companies operating in the Philippines.
"They are directly hiring more than 14,000 Filipinos while the number of Chinese workers stands at less than 1,300," the association said.
Like any other foreign companies operating in the Philippines, the Philippine official said Chinese companies also bring in their own staff to fill up some management and leadership positions.
The highly-skilled Chinese workers are contributing their expertise in the Philippine government's ongoing massive infrastructure development, Lopez said.
According to the association, local partners of the Chinese companies have created an even larger number of local jobs.
It said that for instance Chinese tech firm Huawei's local partners create 15,000 work opportunities for the Philippines.
"That is understandable. That is basically what we are seeing also and there is no difference from Chinese companies operating here," Lopez said. "But the bulk of the workers are Filipinos."
Lopez also said the fact that now more Chinese companies are investing in the Philippines is a "positive development".
Philippine government statistics data shows that China's investments in the Philippines reached 48.7 billion pesos (930 million U.S. dollars) in 2018, making China the Philippines' top foreign investor.
Lopez was interviewed after attending a China-Philippines business forum where participants discussed the broadening bilateral relations, the Philippines' booming economic growth, opportunities for greater trade, and the strategies, policies, and reforms to improve the Philippine business environment.