An anti-dumping case against Vietnam cement is being pushed to further protect the domestic cement manufacturing industry from cheap imports being dumped into the country.
This was revealed by CEMEX Holdings Philippines President & CEO Ignacio Mijares at the Pacific Alliance and the Philippines: Opportunities for a Renewed Partnership where he cited the strong support foreign investors have received from the government, particularly the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The publicly listed company is one of the leading cement producers in the Philippines.
“We have been supported by the Department of Trade and industry, first with safeguards which is now entering on their third year and hopefully soon with some anti-dumping case that is pending for final review as we continue to struggle with the Vietnamese cement producers,” said Mijares at the event attended by DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.
Cement manufacturers won its case for government protection with the implementation of safeguard measures against imported cement from various countries. This time, the anti-dumping case will be more specific targeting Vietnam’s cement exports to the country.
Mijares said that CEMEX cement manufacturing operations are facing significant challenges from imports as the Philippines is “very import prone country” due to its proximity to surplus capacities in other countries, coupled by the archipelagic nature of the country.
Other threats and challenges being faced by CEMEX in the Philippines include excessive regulations and bureaucracy where he noted of the 2020 World Bank Doing Business Report that ranked the Philippines at 95th out of 190 countries in Ease of Doing Business global ranking.
He also noted of infrastructure gaps that have resulted in port congestion and poor internet-connectivity and speed. In addition, he said, the country is still facing the threat of COVID-19 and its variants.
With all these threats and challenges faced by foreign investors in the local market, Mijares expressed his gratitude for the very active support of the DTI.
In his testimony as foreign investor in the Philippines, Mijares cited the huge business opportunities in the country.
He emphasized the Philippines as one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the second fastest growing in Asia Pacific with high English proficiency. “It is a very attractive and very easy country to invest in,” he added.
With that, Mijares said, CEMEX is continually expanding. It is currently implementing its $235 million expansion project that would raise its production capacity by 1.5 million MT from its current 5.7 million MT capacity.
CEMEX has also launched its green and eco-friendly next generation of cement products.
After more than 20 years of presence in the Philippines, Mijares said the Philippines continued to rank in the top 3 or 5 in the KPIs that they are monitoring among 64 cement facilities they operate globally.
In addition, they have significantly reduced foreigners in their Philippine operations becoming almost an all-Filipino management team.