THE European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) sees room for attracting more foreign direct investments (FDIs) by addressing corruption and poor perception of the country.
Michel Miloda, newly installed executive vice-president of ECCP said: "There are a number of problems here but we cannot change them rapidly. It has to be step by step."
"There is room for improving the investment climate in the Philippines to make it attractive to foreign investors especially compared with China," he said.
Many locally based European businessmen see China see as overrated and the Philippines as underrated.
"If you come from Europe, everybody is talking negatively about the Philippines, of corruption. Nobody mentions (about Filipino) communication and IT skills. It's a matter of perception It must be changed," Miloda said.
He said this is especially so because the Philippines has poor standing in international surveys on corruption.
ECCP president Hubert d' Aboville said the level of FDIs in thePhilippines is "frustrating".
ECCP is at the forefront of the private sector's Integrity Initiative which advocates fair and ethical business practices.
D' Aboville said there are more than 500 private companies which have signed up for the Integrity Initiative and that the group is negotiating with government agencies to sign up.
D' Aboville said in the future, the group hopes that companies not in the Integrity Initiative list would not be allowed to bid for government projects or for supply contracts.
One of the supporters of the plan is Education Secretary Armin Luistro.
Outgoing executive vice-president Henry Schumacher also said the ECCP is working with the Bureau of Internal Revenue and
the Bureau of Customs to allow those that pay proper taxes and duties to have access to so called green and blue lanes which allow for speedy processing of papers.
Schumacher said the ECCP is also in discussions with Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, the Department of Budget and Management and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
Schumacher said ECCP has proposed to DBM ways to "shrink" government by outsourcing to the private sector.
Source: Malaya; Business; 14 April 2011