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DTI touts PH potential as heated tobacco manufacturer

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday touted the Philippines’ potential to be a manufacturing hub for heated tobacco products (HTPs) in the Asia Pacific region.

At the International Tobacco Agricultural Summit in Taguig City, DTI Undersecretary and Board of Investments managing head Ceferino Rodolfo said there is an “opportunity for the Philippine to become a manufacturing hub for HTPs.”

“Multinational corporations are actively exploring this opportunity in the Philippines,” Rodolfo said.

In particular, the DTI official said Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. is planning to invest P9 billion in a state-of-the-art facility in Tanauan, Batangas that will produce HTPs for its IQOS devices.

“Other potential leads may include Japan Tobacco International, British American Tobacco, China Tobacco —manufacturer of the MOK HTP brands—, and manufacturers of locally-distributed HTP brands such as Bohem Cigar, Esse and Liqun,” Rodolfo said.

“HTPs if manufactured in the PH can be imported in ASEAN (except Vietnam), Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong at 0% tariff duty,” he said.

The Trade official said there is also an expected increase in the local demand for HTPs.

“From 664.7 million sticks in 2022, retail sales of HTPs in the Philippines is expected to increase to 4.06 billion sticks in 2027 equivalent to P32.8 billion,” Rodolfo said.—LDF, GMA Integrated News