By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios
Following the commitment of the German government to bolster economic ties and bilateral agreement with the Philippines which was also discussed at the 17th Asia-Pacific Conference of German Business in Singapore, the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) organized the 2022 Philippine-German Business Forum in Dusit Thani Manila.
The business forum was graced by the Honorable Secretary Alfredo Pascual from Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Her Excellency Anke Reiffenstuel, German Ambassador to the Philippines.
Ambassador Reiffenstuel discussed the importance and significance of the Philippines’ attendance at the last Asia Pacific Conference of German Business (APK) last 13-14 November 2022. “The right signal at the right time to revitalize the Free Trade Agreement between EU and the Indo-Pacific which includes the Philippines”. She also mentioned the importance of the bilateral meeting between German Economic Minister Robert Habeck and Secretary Alfredo Pascual that took place at the sidelines of the APK event at Singapore last November to strengthen the bilateral and economic ties between the Philippines and Germany.
In the forum, DTI Secretary Pascual said: “there has not been a ministerial meeting between Philippines and Germany since 2016 that is why the APK Conference was important. The 300-billion-euro global gateway fund is crucial and is also aligned in the values of new infrastructure development here in the country especially in the fields of water storage, renewable energy, services, logistics, transportation, and disaster risk reduction.” The Secretary of Trade and Industry also reiterated encouraging the private sector, especially the foreign investors for Public Private Partnership (PPPs) because it has a wide range of social and economic benefits.
Secretary Pascual has made additional points regarding the plans and goals of the Marcos Jr. Administration specifically for the fields of industrial manufacturing and transport (IMT), tech, media, and IT-BPO industry, health and life science cluster, and the modernization of basic needs security of the country. In addition, right after his cabinet meeting with President Marcos on the same day, he ensured the participants of the event allow the duty-free importation of electric vehicles that will encourage investors across the country.
In closing the Secretary gladly offered to host the 2026 APK Conference in the Philippines.