June 30, 2011
European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
The trade and investment road show by the Philippines in Milan, Italy -- the first-leg was reported to be a big success and attracted some 370 entrepreneurs in the area.
The Philippine road show was promoted by the Italian Embassy in Manila, in partnership with the Board of Investment of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines to inform the Italian business community about the many opportunities that the Philippines has to offer to Italian and European companies who are targeting the Asian Markets, including China, Japan, South Korea and the Asean countries.
Luca Fornari, the Italian Ambassador to the Philippines, explains: "Italians are aware of the great qualities of Filipinos who are working in our country, but they are not aware of all rthe advantages that could be offered to them should they decide to invest in the Philippines, be it in manufacturing and/or service and after-sales operations. Moreover, the core of Italian entrepreneurship in fashion, design, furniture and other industries is composed of very dynamic small and medium enterprises that need to set up their international operations in countries where communication is easy and where they can establish friendly partnerships based on trust and transparency. And I believe that there is no other place in Asia where this can be done as easily as in the Philippines."
President Aquino himself has been briefly informed about the initiative taken by Ambassador Fornari in occasion of the Philippine Independence Day and took an interest in this communication format for promoting our country abroad.
The Filipino delegation was headed by Tong Buencamino, Senior Trade Representative of the DTI's European office in Berlin. The Italian audience took a strong interest in everything -- from the information on the opportunities offered by the Philippine Economic Zones to the whole set of PPP projects undertaken by the Aquino Government. The audience openly applauded Riccardo Mattei -- the CEO of Leigh Fisher Italia, a consultant to the World Bank and the Philippine Government for the launch of the PPP projects and bids. It was also Mattei who announced that within the next few days a meeting organized by the Philippine Government with the future investors under the PPP initiatives will take place.
"The right time to look at the Philippines is now," said Mr Mattei, who also praised the "high competence" of the public officials that he met.
During the meeting Carlo Cordaro of Filveneer; Roberta Fazzini of Italfood and Joey Leviste of Constellation Energy, related to the audience their personal (and very successful) experiences in the country. There were many questions by Italian entrepreneurs of different industries, ranging from fashion to car components, who want to explore their possibility of setting up new operations in the Philippines.
Those who attended the meeting also received a business guide published for this occasion -- How and why to make business in the Philippines -- sponsored by a group of Italian companies.
"We believe that we need to inform our friends in Italy about all the opportunities they can have in this country," says Armando de Rossi, one of the sponsors and the head ofthe newly established Italian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines. The other Italian companies and entrepreneurs supporting the program are: Trevi Foundation Group (a construction company), Ettore Rossi (CEO and founder of Advanced Foundation, Construction Systems Corp.), Carlo Cordaro (FilVeneer), Gianni Guidicelli (President and founder of Cebu Flamingo), Niccolo Terrei (CEO and founder of Elburg Ship Management) and Assicurazioni General, the biggest life insurance company in Europe -- owner of General Pilipinas.
The other meetings of the road show, hosted by the local Chambers of Commerce, are currently taking place in Padua, near Venice, and in Turin (the Italian car industry hub). On June 27th in Rome, a final meeting will be hosted by the Italian Confederation of Industries (Confindustria) with the support ofthe Philippines Commercial Attache, John Paul B, Inigo, and the Philippine Ambassador to Italy, Romeo L. Manalo. The start of the road show also attracted a lot of attention from the local media, especially from the leading Italian business newspaper -- Il Sole 24 Ore -- which dedicated its online edition and its international business page to the Filipino economic revival.
Source: Manila Bulletin; Business Bulletin; 28 June 2011