Government infrastructure drive attracts interest of EU firms

The country’s strong economic performance and the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” program have piqued the interest of European businessmen who visited the Philippines recently to scout for investment opportunities.

Members of the German, Spanish, Italian, French and British Chambers of Commerce in the Philippines, and the Philippines-Netherlands business council, participated in the Fourth Speed Networking Night last Friday.

The event allowed European and Filipino businessmen to engage in a cross-sectoral “meet and greet”, allowing them to strengthen partnerships and open avenues for collaboration.

“Each foreign chamber is for better collaboration and improving business relations with the Philippines, particularly at this time, when the country’s economy is doing well,” said Tristan Loveres, president of the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Loveres cited Germany’s strength in alternative energy and railway and transport technology, which could help move forward the Build, Build, Build infrastructure agenda of the Philippine government.

Chris Nelson, president of the British Chamber of Commerce Philippines (BCCP), said there is a need to further improve relations and cooperation with other business groups amid the United Kingdom’s ongoing process of negotiating its departure terms with the European Union.

Nelson said business and social ties usually “solidify” in networking activities, which can lead to improving sectoral collaborations between foreign chambers.

The number of small and medium British enterprises—the target companies of the BCCP—engaged in consultancy, food and beverage and pharmaceuticals, is increasing.

The chamber has helped two British firms take advantage of business opportunities in Davao. The companies continue to record strong growth in retail sales.

Bas Haafs, treasurer for the Philippines-Netherlands Business Council, said the 4th Speed Networking Night gave the council’s members a chance to meet potential business partners.

“We want to be the bridge between the Philippine and Netherlands business community. The Netherlands has a lot of expertise in specific fields, such as water management and agriculture, specifically dairy, and we want to help develop these sectors,” Haafs said.


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