Europe-PH News

European biz group expects ‘flood’ of FDIs

February 07, 2023

ECCP Online

Europe-PH News

The Doing Business in the Philippines publication gives vital information to investors seeking to expand or enter the Philippine market.

The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines is expecting more foreign direct investments into the Philippines, as the Marcos administration was perceived to be very agile in implementing critical reforms initiated by the government of then-President Rodrigo Duterte, allowing more foreign firms participation that could create jobs and more revenues for the government.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. visited several countries to attract foreign investments, and the latest was in Davos, Switzerland, which, according to him, has drawn billions of dollars in pledges in various industries.

But for the ECCP, what is enticing to foreign investors was the passage of key economic reforms such as the amendments to the Foreign Investment Act, Retail Trade Liberalization Act, and Public Service Act, as well as the relaxation of the foreign participation limitation in the renewable energy sector.

For Marcos Jr.’s China trip alone, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual bared that the trip has yielded $7.32 billion in investment pledges from Chinese companies regarding nickel processing, power batteries, electric vehicles, electronics manufacturing, and steel manufacturing.

ECCP president Lars Wittig expects billions of foreign direct investments to come the Philippines’ way, driving global competitiveness and economic development further.

For his part, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines Luc Veron highlighted that this year is an opportune time even for the country to implement reforms and policies geared toward sustainable development “to make the Philippines even more attractive as an investment destination and to boost the country’s competitiveness.”

While Norwegian Ambassador Christian Halaas Lyster gave his updates on the European Free Trade Association – Philippines Free Trade Agreement.

Answering how to ensure that the Philippines remains a competitive country, Lyster highlights that new guidelines and regulations are implemented under the FTA and that there are streamlined efforts of such rules and regulations.

Last year, the Trade Department said the FTA would be a tool for economic recovery after the pandemic, saying that while the Philippines was able to turn around its trade deficit with the EFTA countries since the FTA was implemented, there is still room for improvement as utilization rate of the preferential tariff privileges by exporters has remained low.

Alongside these reforms, Wittig further stressed that “step-up efforts,” such as creating green and resilient infrastructure and further prioritizing the wellness and education of the Filipino workforce, be also prioritized.

Meanwhile, in a bid to further attract and support more potential investors to the Philippines, the ECCP, in partnership with DivinaLaw, unveiled the Doing Business in the Philippines 2023 Publication on 26 January at a press event with key officials of European diplomatic missions.

“The Doing Business in the Philippines publication gives vital information to investors seeking to expand or enter the Philippine market,” Wittig said. “As a valuable resource for businesses interested in exploring opportunities in the country, this booklet aims to arm potential investors with knowledge of the Philippine business environment and relevant laws and procedures, empowering businesses to make informed investment decisions.”

For more than four decades, the ECCP has advocated for reforms to make the Philippines’ business climate more competitive, fair, and inclusive.

The Chamber has applauded the government’s efforts in advancing vital economic reforms, recognizing various stakeholders’ intensified efforts to improve the country’s business climate further.

The Doing Business in the Philippines 2023 Publication is an updated edition of the previously released version in early 2020.


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