July 25, 2023
The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) extends its appreciation to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for delivering the 2023 State of the Nation Address (SONA) and for the current administration’s commitment to addressing the nation’s many pressing challenges.
The Chamber is highly encouraged by the President’s emphasis on key economic priorities, namely the easing of inflation, increasing of production, promoting industry development, accelerating infrastructure development, advancing human capital development, boosting job generation, and ensuring social protection. The ECCP, likewise, greatly welcomed the recognition of critical areas such as investments toward hard and soft infrastructure, the enabling of a sound business and economic landscape in the country, and the continued promotion of structural reforms that aim to sustain and shore up investor confidence in the Philippines.
As an organization representing European and Philippine businesses in the country, the ECCP further appreciates the drive of the current administration to secure more trade deals. As such, the Chamber hopes to see the recommencement of the EU-Philippines Free Trade Agreement talks as well as the retention of the EU GSP+ grant in the near future. The Chamber believes that the condition is ripe for this mutually beneficial trade arrangements. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) must also be maximized to achieve its full trade potential.
Furthermore, while the P3.9 trillion total investment pledges with the potential to generate 175,000 jobs is indeed promising, we look to government to further solidify the country’s position as an attractive investment destination through incentives schemes and the proper implementation of green lanes to boost the country’s competitiveness and facilitate ease of doing business. With the efforts of the current administration as well as several roadshows, we are cautiously optimistic and confident that we shall see results [investors] sooner rather than later.
To further establish the Philippines’ position in the global arena, it is critical to sustain investments in both hard and soft infrastructure. The Chamber also commends the President’s emphasis on sustainable development and promotion of responsible economic growth – priorities that align with the ECCP’s advocacy of creating a business environment that fosters competitiveness while contributing towards a greener and more inclusive Philippines. These include advocacies on renewable energy, circular economy, water resource management [through the creation of a Department of Water Resource Management], climate action, among others.
The ECCP will continue to support and collaborate with the Philippine government and all other stakeholders to further improve the country’s business climate, through initiatives that enhance regional and global market integration, improve competitiveness, promote increased investments, and facilitate the twin green and digital transitions.