Seeks deeper economic cooperation by capitalizing on the game-changing economic reforms to be implemented
By Monsi A. Serrano
Despite the economic headwinds caused by the disruption of supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic, and currently, the Russian-Ukraine war that resulted in another round of supply chain disruption, inflation and volatile prices of commodities, the European businesses and officials expressed confidence in the recovery and eventual growth of the Philippines economy.
This was tackled during the 2022 European Philippine Business Dialogue held at The Ascott Makati last November 14, spearheaded by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and co-organized by the British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
Ambassadors from EU Member States Embassies, members of the diplomatic corps, foreign chambers, business leaders, government officials, and representatives from the private and public sectors attended the event.
With the theme, “New Era of Progress, Possibilities and Partnerships”, the European-Philippine Business Dialogue provided an open space for both the foreign investors and government officials who were present the real sentiment of the different European business leaders from various foreign chambers of commerce in the Philippines like Advantage Austria, French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines, Dutch Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and Swiss Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Executive Director Florian Gottein underscored the importance of partnership between the stakeholders in the Philippines and the European businesses to explore possibilities that will lead to progress.
The ECCP Executive Director also expressed how the various game-changing economic reforms that have taken place will spur more direct foreign investments to the country once this is implemented through the IRRs. Gottein assured the government and other stakeholders that the EU biz group is willing to sit down and help in whatever capacity they can to ensure that the much-needed economic recovery that the Philippines aspires for will be achieved slowly and then lead to economic growth.
“The game changing economic reforms such as Public Service Act, Foreign Investment Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act, will increase foreign direct investments and create more jobs as multilateral agencies have expressed optimism about the Philippines in terms of growth,” he said.
“I think we’ll see 66 and a half percent GDP close in a given by the World Bank and the ADB benchmarking from the ASEAN region,” Gottein noted.
While the ECCP Executive Director shared the bullish outlook of European businesses and the chamber as a whole, he also revealed the inevitable hurdles that both Philippines and European businesses have to deal with.
“The Philippines has 7.6% growth in Q32022, surpassing acing the latest estimates on economic growth. It’s time to now build on this positive momentum and maximize the opportunities we have on the horizon in this beautiful country. There, however, remains some challenges across sectors and industries the team challenges such as infrastructure development, and human capital, among others.” he revealed.
Other issues tackled during the 2022 European-Philippine Business Dialogue was the GSP+ status of the Philippines given the recent assassination of broadcast journalist Percy Lapid and the outcry of the diplomatic community as this remains unsolved.