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ECCP: Investments in the Philippines are entering a “golden age.”

As the Philippines continues to be a desirable location for European firms, the country is approaching the “golden age” of investments from Europe.

This coincided with the implementation of policy changes by the government, including the full foreign ownership of renewable energy projects and adjustments to the Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act, and Retail Trade and Liberalisation Act.

In a news conference held on Monday in Makati City, Florian Gottein, executive director of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), stated that “the Philippines is starting to enter this golden age of investments coming from Europe and from other parts of the world.”

According to Gottein, the ECCP has steadfastly supported the legislative changes that will increase the amount of foreign direct investment coming to the Philippines.

One of the largest European company delegations will be traveling here this week to participate in the 2023 European-Philippines company Dialogue, according to the executive director of the EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC), Chris Humphrey, demonstrating the increased interest of European businesses in the Philippines.

According to Humphrey, the European delegation will consist of 36 organizations and 70 individuals.

“I believe that only serves to highlight the allure and significance of the Philippines to European enterpriseโ€ฆ We must put the Philippines front and center, he urged.

Humphrey noted that the Philippines is a key location for European enterprises because of its robust economic growth, which is among the quickest in Asia despite its slowdown, its sizable and youthful population, and the stability it gives.

“Compared to other parts of the region, the reality on the ground is significantly more favorable here. As a result, if you look at Indonesia, there will be elections next year that will likely lead to some volatility. Malaysia had significant political issues. It’s uncertain whether the government will continue in power for the entire termโ€ฆ You travel to a place like Thailand, where elections have just taken place. The future currently appears to be a little hazy. Additionally, they have a relatively elderly population, he continued.

On the other side, Vietnam’s economy is beginning to show indications of slowing down, with its gross domestic product growth slowing to 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2023 from 5.05 percent expansion in the same period the previous year.

“You have an administration that still has five years left. It advances rapidly and is quite steady. And your team is fantasticโ€”young, brilliant, and highly skilled. You are also a language expert. Just make sure you’re capitalizing on the developments you’ve made when the rest of the region is having some issues, Humphrey said.

The ease of doing business is one of the areas that the Philippines has to develop further, according to ECPP president Lars Wittig, to attract more European investors to the area.

“Europe has the biggest cumulative investment (in ASEAN), totaling USD350 billion. Unfortunately, only 4.7% of that has historically been invested directly in the Philippines, according to Wittig.

On May 25, at the Dusit Thani Manila, also in Makati, the ECCP and the EU-ABC will host the 10th European-Philippine Business Dialogue.

The program will unveil ECCP’s 11 advocacy papers and hand them over to the administration in addition to a series of high-level debates.

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