BERLIN, GERMANY—Kicking off his working visit to Germany, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual on Monday, 3 July 2023, delivered a keynote message during the Philippine German Investment Forum where he highlighted the Philippines’ economic gains that make the country an ideal market for German exports and a strategic hub for German manufacturing firms that intend to access the ASEAN region.

“From a GDP growth rate of 5.7% in 2021, our country registered an impressive growth rate last year, 2022, of 7.6%—one of the highest in the ASEAN region,” Pascual said.

Further, amongst ASEAN economies, the Philippines grew the fastest for the first quarter of 2023 at 6.4% as compared to Indonesia’s 5.0%, Vietnam’s 3.3%, and Singapore’s 0.1% growth.

Secretary Pascual also cited several factors that make the Philippines a viable investment destination, such as the country’s large domestic market of 113 million, young and skilled workforce, strategic geographic location in East and Southeast Asia with access to significant shipping lanes, and abundant natural resources, including renewable energy potential of about 250 GW, with ample reserves of green metals such as nickel, copper and cobalt.

He also highlighted that the Marcos Jr. administration is heavily focused on infrastructure development, noting, “Under the leadership of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the flagship program known as “Build, Better, More” aims to establish a fair, prosperous, and resilient Philippines by 2040. The Marcos Jr. administration has made a commitment to expand our ongoing infrastructure development program, which currently encompasses 194 major projects with a total budget of PHP9 trillion or USD 160 billion.”

From L-R: Dr. Volker Treier, Member of the Executive Board of DIHK; Dr. Gunther Kegel, President of Germany’s Electronics and Digital Industries Association (ZVEI); DTI Secretary Fred Pascual

Meanwhile, in his opening remarks, Dr. Volker Treier, Member of the Executive Board of DIHK, emphasized that now is the time to strengthen Philippine-German ties and to explore cooperation amongst like-minded partners such as the Philippines.

On the other hand, Dr. Gunther Kegel, President of Germany’s Electronics and Digital Industries Association (ZVEI), said that Germany must establish new partnerships and find new economic allies.  Referring to Germany’s stated goals of “automation, electrification and digitization”, he noted that Germany is clearly underrepresented in the Philippines, and that untapped investment opportunities exist for German companies.

DTI Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BOI) Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo as well as Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary Mylene Capongcol also delivered presentations during the forum focused on the slew of game-changing economic reforms that have been enacted in support of greater participation by foreign investors in the country’s electronics manufacturing, infrastructure development, and renewable energy sectors.

Mr. Jack Madrid, President of the IT Business Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) likewise presented the case for German companies taking advantage of outsourcing opportunities in the fields of software development, games and animation, health information management, pharmaceuticals, insurance, accounting and finance.

Furthermore, Mr. Luc Quisthoudt, Continental Temic Microelectronic GmbH’s Vice President Operations for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Autonomous Mobility, provided insights about the company’s various operations in the Philippines, which spans over 40 years.

These include its 100%-owned Philippine subsidiary—Continental Temic Electronics, Phils. Inc. (CTEPI) located in Calamba, Laguna.  Established in 2004, their local subsidiary currently manufactures radar and wheel speed sensors for the Korean and Japanese markets.  Mr. Quisthoudt said that CTEPI is committed to staying in the Philippines, highlighting that the Filipino workers are highly skilled, motivated, and tech-savvy. Senior officials of at least 50 companies, including those from Siemens AG, Gamigo Group, Nivus GmbH, Continental AG, Lufthansa Group, Messer Group, Allianz SE, Telstra Limited, Bayer AG, Bauer Spezialtiefbau Gmbh, Synolytics GmbH, Pepperl + Fuchs and Voith GmbH were also present at the forum which was organized by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Berlin in partnership with Germany’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) and the Asia Pacific Committee on German Business.*

Date of release: 06 July 2023