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China group to build 28 hotels here

By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) Updated March 28, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines hopes to hitch a ride on the growing economy of China and partner with Chinese businessmen to develop the country’s local tourism industry, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said yesterday as he welcomed the plan of the Jinjiang International Hotel Investments Co. to build at least 28 budget hotels in the country in the next five years.

“We’d like to have cooperation in tourism to get a good share of that hundred million tourists coming out of China to go to the Philippines,” Purisima said yesterday at the 2012 Philippine Investment Forum organized by Euromoney.

Purisima said the Aquino administration welcomes the plan of Jinjiang to build starting in 2013 at least 28 budget hotels in the Ortigas, Manila and Makati areas.

“The other good development is that a major China hotel group, JinJiang has entered into a joint venture to build about 28 hotels throughout the country,” he said.

He said the China group has entered into a joint venture with diversifying snack food manufacturer Liwayway Marketing Corp.

Under the agreement, the joint venture would invest starting in 2013 $850 million in economy hotels, starting with the first branch in Ortigas. The joint venture agreement was signed in China last year during the visit of President Aquino.

Carlos Chan, chairman of Liwayway Marketing, and Zurong Xu, chief executive officer of Jinjiang, signed the contract, with President Benigno Aquino III and Trade Secretary Gregorio Domingo among the witnesses.

Purisima said the number of Chinese tourists in the Philippines is fast growing.

“The good news, so far, last January the Chinese tourists have become the number two in the Philippines behind the Koreans and I think all bodes well for Philippines tourism,” he said.

Purisima said that right now, China is the second largest economy in the world and would soon be number one.

“Right now, it’s our source of over 60 million tourists,” he said.

Aside from tourism, Purisima said agriculture and mining can also be strategic areas of partnership between the two countries.

“Agriculture is also a major opportunity and so is mining once we resolve the policy issue,” he said.
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