DESPITE the Philippine peso dropping to a seven-year low, foreign chambers are saying that investors will not be shying away from putting their money in the country any time soon.
The Philippine peso is now threading at 48.70 range against the dollar, its lowest since 2009, with some critics attributing the weak foreign exchange to President Duterte’s volatile statements and an unclear foreign policy.
However, German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Executive Director Peter Kompalla said Duterte’s “strong rhetoric” is only one factor in the peso decline. He said that, while the current exchange rate is both a blessing for foreign exporters and a disadvantage for local operators, investments from German companies remain stable.
“I do not think from the investors here, they are not scared. But what we see is they get more and more inquiries from their headquarters in Germany about what is going on, and they provide the whole picture and, I guess, it’s okay,” Kompalla said.
He added, “We just have to see. We know that many German companies have the Philippines on the radar they would like to invest, and I could imagine that they hesitate more. I do not think they are scared away. It might be the wrong word but I do think they are simply cautious and want to wait a little longer.”
Meanwhile, Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines Executive Director Barbara Apraiz attributes the drop in the Philippine peso to the changes in the country following the installation of a new administration.
“I think, there will be changes for the better. Maybe in the beginning, it’ is not going to be easy. The peso is not going to be in its best moment but all this is really good for the country. All this stuff happening is good for investors coming to the Philippines, because for them coming here is not so expensive. In the long term, I think, it is going to be good for the country,” Apraiz said.
Apraiz said Spanish companies are still coming to the Philippines because of the growing opportunities, including the increasing number of infrastructure projects.
“I do not think it will limit the opportunities, because the economy is growing. Companies are still interested in the Philippines, and it is a good point for companies to come now,” she said.
For French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines Managing Director Vanessa Hans, it is still a “wait-and-see” process for the French business community.
Hans said she sees “positive signs” in country’s business environment but there is still the “uncertainty” brought by a new government.
“We have most of the French publicly listed companies here in the country, so I think it’s a pretty positive sign. No one had talks about leaving the country. It is still very positive,” Hans said.