EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) Board Member Noel Clehane tells House Speaker Martin Romualdez that as far as the council is concerned, the Philippines is the "most attractive" investment destination for European businesses.
Romualdez met with the EU-ABC representatives on Tuesday afternoon, May 23.
The council is composed of a total of 70 delegates from 36 European multinational companies.
PH 'most attractive' investment destination for European businesses, Romualdez told
At a glance
The Philippines is the "most attractive" investment destination for European businesses.
House Speaker Martin Romualdez learned this straight from Noel Clehane, board member of the EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) during a meeting Tuesday afternoon, May 23.
During their meeting with Romualdez, the six representatives from the visiting EU-ABC expressed their interest to expand European Union (EU) business and trade relations with the Philippines. The council is composed of a total of 70 delegates from 36 European multinational companies.
Clehane informed the Speaker that they have been engaging with EU lawmakers to push for a free trade agreement with the Philippines, among others.
“We have been highlighting to them that this region (ASEAN), particularly the Philippines, is the most attractive in the world for European businesses,” said Clehane.
He said their excitement about business prospects in the Philippines is borne by an annual survey that they have been doing for the past eight years. As a result, he said EU lawmakers are now “becoming more alert” to exploring expanded trade relations with the Philippines.
Jens Ruebbert, managing director and regional head Asia/Pacific for Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg and vice chairman of the EU-ABC), also noted the strong growth and solid economic fundamentals of the Philippines.
The Philippine Gross Domestic Product (GDP) posted a growth of 7.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, resulting to a 7.6 percent full-year growth in 2022. It has grown by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2023.
“That’s extremely well recognized in the business world,” Ruebbert, the head of the delegation, pointed out.
He also noted that inflation is on the downtrend while the peso remains stable as opposed to other currencies in other countries. On the other hand, the interest rate environment is “an equation of what’s going on in the world".
“Probably the highest hike in the region has helped you to sustain and get things under control. So big congratulations for the economic situation, which is I think the basis for motivating [EU] and other foreign companies to further invest and further extend trade with the Philippines,” added Ruebbert.
The Speaker welcomed the effort of the EU-ABC and informed the body of the initiatives of Congress, in line with the policies of the administration of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to “make the Philippines a more inviting host for business investments and economic activities".
“We’re here to see how can help. We would like to support, we would like to assist. We’d like to be aware of the challenges so we could address them together,” Romualdez assured the EU delegation representatives.