Philippines’ Economic Development presented in ECCP’s Doing Business in the Philippines 2020 Investors Guide Booklet Press Launch

Published · Friday, January 31, 2020 04:24 PM

The economic relation and progress of the European Union (EU) and the Philippines were put into perspective during the press launch of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ (ECCP) ‘Doing Business in the Philippines 2020’ handbook.

The press launch was held on January 23, 2020, at DusitThani Manila. The handbook, endearingly called as the foreign investors’ “bible” is published by ECCP, in partnership with its legal partner Quisumbing Torres. This comprehensive booklet aims to arm potential investors with relevant knowledge of the Philippines' business environment.

L-R: Florian Gottein, Executive Director, ECCP; Nabil Francis, President, ECCP; Thomas Wiersing, Chargé d'affaires, EU Delegation to the Philippines; H.E Alain Gaschen, Ambassador of Switzerland in the Philippines; Atty. Alain Charles J. Veloso, Partner, Quisumbing Torres


In line with the unveiling of the handbook, ECCP Executive Director Florian Gottein, opened the press launch by introducing the respective speakers who gave an overview of the Philippines’ economic progress, its decline and achievements.

According to ECCP President Nabil Francis, “We believe that the economy of the Philippines has been extremely resilient [in 2019]”, the Philippine economy has been upgraded to a BBB+ rating and infrastructure will further improve as 17% of the Philippine national budget is allocated to boosting the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program.

Despite this, the foreign direct investments (FDI) is plummeting, declining by almost 33% due to bureaucracy and the lack of infrastructure. In addition to that, the Philippines is falling behind its ASEAN neighbors. There’s a call for the speedy passage of policy reforms such as the amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA), the Foreign Investments Act (FIA), and the Retail Trade Act (RTA) that would boost trade and business engagement to help attract foreign investors.

Chargé d'affaires of the EU Delegation to the Philippines Thomas Wiersing expressed, “In the Philippines, the EU remains committed to engaging constructively. We’ve worked together on many issues, including the strengthening of our commercial relations.”

Looking at the brighter side, Ambassador of Switzerland in the Philippines, H.E. Alain Gaschen shared his outlook on positively hoping to increase and improve the business relation between Switzerland and the Philippines.

“For us, the Philippines offers interesting perspectives for Swiss companies”, added Ambassador Gaschen.

Lastly, key developments and challenges the government still has to address were discussed by Quisumbing Torres PartnerAtty. Alain Charles J. Veloso. Among the key developments were the Passage of Ease of Doing Business Act, Revised Corporation Code, among others.

In areas where the Government can implement better changes, Atty. Veloso stated that aspects such as nationalizing certain industries, land ownership, and the amendments to the Public Service Act should be given attention for further improvement.

The Doing Business in the Philippines 2020 handbook arms foreign investors with the latest knowledge to assist them in making investment decisions, explore various business opportunities, and identify areas that may increase economic development in the Philippines. And as said by ECCP President Nabil Francis, “This is going to help you avoid any faux pas when starting a business in the Philippines.”

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