crowd shot of the virtual investment roadshow participants

The Philippines is eyeing significant investments from Europe, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said during a virtual investment roadshow recently, dubbed as “Make It Happen In the Philippines: A Forum on the Philippines’ Role in your Business,” targeting European companies.

“It is still a good time to do business in the country despite the pandemic. The Philippines considers Europe an important trading partner. We enjoy a very special trade relationship with them as we have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and we are the only country in ASEAN to benefit from the European Union’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+),” Secretary Lopez said.

European companies have invested EUR 406.5M (USD 488M or P23.4B) in the country in 2020. Among the top European investors were the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, and France.

Bilateral trade between the Philippines and Europe totaled USD 13.8B last year, serving as the Philippines’ 5th largest trading partner with exports amounting to USD 7.3B and imports at USD 6.5B.

“There is still much room for growth considering the level of consumer demand from respective markets and the supply chains that can be developed from complementary industries. Beyond these figures, the nature and quality of investments from European companies and business partnerships formed with our companies have helped move the Philippines up the value chain. In particular, we’ve advanced about innovation-based manufacturing and high-value technology-based services,” Sec. Lopez said, citing the Lufthansa Technik Philippines (a joint venture between MacroAsia Philippines and Lufthansa AG) as the country’s preeminent provider of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services with its main hub in Manila and eight other hangars with a tenth under construction. ♦

Date of Release: 5 May 2021