The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) is planning to extend its business networking program in the Philippines, which is about to end this year.
"We have the EU-Philippines Business Network (EPBN). It is a five-year project, which is aimed to bring European SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to the Philippines to set up shop here, to produce here, to team up with local partners. And we're now at the end of this project and we are looking to extending it," ECCP executive director Florian Gottein told reporters at the sidelines of the 2018 Sustainable Agriculture Forum in Pasay City on Tuesday.
According to the European Commission's website, the EPBN is a €4.375-million project with a duration from December 2013 to December 2018. It is co-funded by the European Union and implemented by the ECCP.
Its aim is to provide a support framework for European companies, especially SMEs, interested in exporting to or investing in the Philippines.
Gottein said the ECCP is looking at extending the EPBN by another one-and-a-half to two years.
"That depends on the new delegation of business on the ground," he said.
Among the initiatives to be pursued by the ECCP is boosting the Philippines' high value crops sector, such as coffee and cacao.
"A couple of our member companies are investing in high value crops, interested in coffee, interested in cacao and that's a huge market in Europe. So I think there are a lot of things we can do together in order to produce more at more competitive price for domestic market and export market," Gottein said.
"Some of our members are helping local farmers by buying their products and also training them, spreading out all over the country and setting up buying stations to cut out the middleman," he said. —KG, GMA News