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DTI goes to Berlin to entice German investors

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Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual promoted the Philippines as a viable investment destination among more than 50 German companies that attended a forum in Berlin.

From left: Dr. Volker Treier, member of the executive board of DIHK; Dr. Gunther Kegel, president of Germany’s Electronics and Digital Industries Association and DTI Secretary Fred Pascual

Pascual delivered a keynote message during the Philippine German Investment Forum where he underscored 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 percent in 2021, our country registered an impressive growth rate last year, 2022, of 7.6 percent–one of the highest in the ASEAN region,” Pascual said.

He said among ASEAN economies, the Philippines grew the fastest in the first quarter of 2023 at 6.4 percent, compared to Indonesia’s 5.0 percent, Vietnam’s 3.3 percent and Singapore’s 0.1 percent growth.

Pascual also identified 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.

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He said the Marcos administration is heavily focused on infrastructure development.

“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 P9 trillion or US$160 billion.”

Dr. Volker Treier, member of the executive board of DIHK, said now is the time to strengthen Philippine-German ties and to explore cooperation amongst like-minded partners such as the Philippines.

Dr. Gunther Kegel, president of Germany’s Electronics and Digital Industries Association (ZVEI), said Germany should 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 managing gead Ceferino Rodolfo and Department of Energy 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.

Jack Madrid, president of the IT Business Association of the Philippines, 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.

Luc Quisthoudt, Continental Temic Microelectronic GmbH’s vice president of 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 percent-owned Philippine subsidiary—Continental Temic Electronics, Phils. Inc. in Calamba, Laguna. Established in 2004, their local subsidiary currently manufactures radar and wheel speed sensors for the Korean and Japanese markets. 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 in Berlin in partnership with Germany’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) and the Asia Pacific Committee on German Business.

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