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PH is the best investment hub, Romualdez tells EU business owners.

European Union (EU) businesspeople frequently invest in the Philippines, according to officials of the EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) who met with House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Tuesday.

According to a news release from the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the six representatives, who were part of the largest-ever business delegation from the EU, spoke highly of the nation’s strong economic performance and expressed their desire to increase trade and business ties with the Philippines.

The delegation included 70 businesspeople from 36 global corporations in Europe.

Romualdez was informed by Noel Clehane, Global Head of Regulatory & Public Policy for BDO (Binder Dijker Otte) and Board Member of EU-ABC, that they have been working with EU legislators to push for a free trade agreement with the Philippines and other countries.

We have been emphasizing to them how appealing the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia are for European enterprises, he continued.

According to Clehane, their optimism towards the Philippines’ economic opportunities is supported by an annual poll they have conducted for the past eight years.

He claimed that as a result, EU legislators are now “becoming more alert” to the possibility of pursuing increased trade ties with the Philippines.

The delegation’s leader, Jens Ruebbert, Managing Director and Regional Head for Asia/Pacific at Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg and Vice Chairman of the EU-ABC, also remarked on the Philippines’ robust economic development and sound fundamentals.

The Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 7.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022, 7.6 percent for the entire year, and 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2023.

Ruebbert remarked, “That’s quite well known in the corporate world.

Additionally, he pointed out that the peso is steady compared to other currencies and that the interest rate environment is “an equation of what’s going on in the world.” Inflation is also on the decline.

“Probably the region’s tallest hike has helped you persevere and maintain control. Congratulations on the economic position, which, in my opinion, is the foundation for encouraging the European Union and other international corporations to increase their investments and trade with the Philippines.

Felipe Medialla, the governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, “demonstrated very nicely and clearly that the economic path and recovery path the Philippines is taking is all on a very, very good track,” according to Ruebbert, in a separate meeting on Monday.

“Or at least very near your territorial seas, 40% of the global supply chain passes. Therefore, the EU-PH free trade deal has important geopolitical justifications and strong economic justifications, as Ruebbert noted.

Diana Edralin, General Manager, Roche Philippines; Dom Lavigne, Yara International Director of Public Affairs and Corporate Communications – Africa and Asia; Charlie Simpson, Chief Representative, Airbus to the Philippines; and Cyrus Isles, of Bayer, were the other members of the EU-ABC group who met with Romualdez.

The group stated its desire to work with the Philippine government in several fields, including health, agriculture, renewable energy, and transportation.

The EU-ABC mission aims to build on the achievements made during President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s productive visit to Brussels in December and to emphasize the Philippines’ significance as a trade and investment destination for European Industry.

The House Speaker praised the EU-ABC’s efforts and told them of Congress’s endeavors to “make the Philippines a more inviting host for business investments and economic activities” in line with the policies of the Marcos government.

“We’re here to see whether we may be of assistance. We would want to lend our support and help. Assuring the EU delegation, Romualdez said, “We’d like to be aware of the issues so we can handle them jointly.

Toby Tiangco of Navotas, Jurdin Jesus Romualdo of Camiguin, Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Johnny Pimentel of Surigao Del Sur, Rachel Arenas of Pangasinan, and Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe were also present at the meeting.

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