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Germany expands economic collaboration with Phl

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By Victoria “NIKE” De Dios

Banking on the strong confidence in the current administration’s foreign and economic policy, the Philippines and Germany continue to explore areas of opportunity for collaboration in various sectors.

During the 2nd session of the Philippines-Germany Joint Economic Commission (JEC) held on March 27, 2024, at Sheraton Manila Hotel, German Parliamentary State Secretary Stefan Wenzel of the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) co-hosted the JEC was Undersecretary for the International Trade Policy Group Allan Gepty of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

In this event, the German–Philippine Chamber of Commerce participated in the JEC and discussed the priority sectors such as energy, infrastructure, technology, investment financing, and skilled labor.

Mindful of the priorities of the Philippines to attain economic recovery and growth, Germany reaffirms its commitment to enhance cooperation in the Philippines. There are already German companies successfully doing business in the country like Siemens Bosch or Lufthansa.

Opportunities in renewable energy and waste management are areas where German companies have great expertise to share.

In the 2nd JEC session, GPCCI President Stefan Schmitz underscored the enduring and robust bilateral trade and economic relationship between the Philippines and Germany.

“The visit of BMWK State Secretary Wenzel shows a shared commitment to further strengthen the partnership between the two nations, building on the momentum established by President Marcos’ visit earlier this month,” Schmitz added.

Meanwhile, officials from the Department of Trade and Industry showcased the economic relations between the two countries, noting Germany’s position as the Philippines’ 12th highest trade partner globally and 1st among European Union countries. Moreover, DTI highlighted that relations were further bolstered by recent visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Berlin, Germany last 11-13 March 2024 which brought several agreements and investment pledges from several German companies.

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) highlighted its collaboration with the GPCCI through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) designed to streamline the operational landscape for German enterprises in the Philippines. Plans for an equipping workshop with GPCCI underscore ARTA’s commitment to improving the ease of doing business for chamber members and the broader German-Philippine business community.

The session also covered comprehensive dialogues on manufacturing and industrial services (including aerospace, electronics, and automotive sectors), energy (with a focus on renewable energy investments), mineral processing, construction and infrastructure, information technology-business processing management, innovation and startups, financing opportunities, and labor collaboration with a focus on the maritime industry and technical-vocational education.

The dialogue also ventured into discussions on the ongoing EU-PH Free Trade Agreement, with DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual acknowledging GPCCI’s efforts to advocate for the said trade agreement.

“We are thankful to Germany for backing the EU-PH FTA talks – as supported by the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.” says DTI Secretary Pascual. “They served as an essential role to advocate for the FTA negotiations which impact potential businesses from Germany.”

PCA Executive Director Barry Paulino and BfW (represented by GPCCI Executive Director Christopher Zimmer) MOU signing as witnessed by from left, PCA President Ronaldo Elepano, Jr. , DTI Undersecretary Allan Gepty, DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual, BMWK State Secretary Stefan Wenzel, and German Ambassador to PH Andreas Pfaffernoschke

The event culminated in the signing a MOU between the Philippine Constructors Association, Inc. (PCA) and BFW Germany (represented by GPCCI) on collaboration on enhancing training and development programs of the construction industry in the Philippines.

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