21 October 2013 - Trade and Investment Secretary Gregorio L. Domingo recently concluded a successful working visit to Germany on September 30 to October 01, where he met with potential German investors and industry stakeholders.
Secretary Domingo keynoted a Round Table organized by the Federal Association for Economic Development and Foreign Trade (BWA) on the “Philippines: Your Business Partner in Asia.” German industry groups and companies, which included BASF, ThyssenKrupp and Commerzbank, were heartened to note the recent gains of the Philippine economy, whose 7.6% growth in the first half of 2013 has set the pace for the ASEAN region.
Secretary Domingo highlighted that economic growth and low inflation would continue to be sustained, especially as the Philippines begins to bear the fruits from its demographic dividend.
Philippine Ambassador to Germany Maria Cleofe R. Natividad, for her part, noted that “KPMG has identified our country of almost 100 million as one of the most adaptable in the world. We are a global people with a global reach, who have garnered a reputation as being at once highly industrious and productive while also being responsive, direct and warm. The Philippines is also reaping the benefits of a demographic dividend, with our population expected to increase by 85 percent in the next 60 years, ensuring the our working age population will peak only in 2085.”
Secretary Domingo emphasized that beyond the solid market opportunities in ASEAN’s 2nd largest country in terms of population, German investors should view the Philippines as a gateway to the rest of ASEAN as well as ASEAN’s six (6) free trade partners in East Asia.
The Philippine panel of experts, which also included DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Mr. Ponciano Manalo, Jr., garnered special interest from German invitees who were keen to know more about emerging opportunities in mining, agriculture, and financial services.
The Philippines has been increasing its focus on the European market, with Commercial Counselor Jose Antonio Buencamino noting that 22 Filipino companies would participate at Cologne’s Anuga Fair, which is the world’s largest food and beverage fair.
BWA President, Mr. Dirk Bormann, characterized the Philippines as a country on the rise, and assured that the BWA was well-positioned to partner with the Philippines in promoting German SME investments in the country. Germany’s “Mittelstand” SME sector, defined as companies with less than 250 employees, accounts for 99.5% of German enterprises.
Prior to the BWA Round Table, Secretary Domingo and Undersecretary Manalo held a series of business meetings with potential investors in the shipping, construction, and energy sectors. END