TRADE AND INVESTMENT representatives from Germany and the Philippines identified manufacturing and construction as priority sectors for cooperation in a Joint Economic Mission held online.
Trade Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo and German Parliamentary State Secretary for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Marco Wanderwitz held the meeting on Sept. 15, the first Philippine trade meeting with a European Union member state since the start of the lockdown.
Ninety participants from both the government and private sector attended the meeting, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said in a statement Monday.
Mr. Wanderwitz said that the formation of a Joint Economic Commission is urgent.
“We want to engage in regular dialogue with our Philippine partners and friends to keep each other informed about current developments and to identify areas in which we can establish or intensify cooperation,” he said.
During the meeting, private sector representatives identified collaboration areas in the construction sector, including technical and vocational training.
BAUER Spezialtiefbau GmbH Chief Executive Officer Arnulf Christa said that the company is interested in providing training, and that it looks forward to participating in elevated highways, airports, and metro station projects in the Philippines.
“With its experience in tunnel boring, drilling, piling, dredging and other demanding construction works, BAUER may play a bigger part in the country’s BBB (Build, Build, Build) Program,” the DTI quoted him as saying in the statement.
The Board of Investments is looking to expand German-Philippine manufacturing cooperation to e-vehicles, battery production, and personal protective equipment manufacturing.
The German Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that there are 250 German companies operating in the Philippines, including those in manufacturing, construction, and services.
The German chamber reiterated its support for a free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union and the Philippines, which Mr. Rodolfo said would create more investment exchanges between Germany and the Philippines.
“PH-EU FTA as a sustainable partnership will further allow more two-way investments and will bring in more trade-related investments in both our countries,” Mr. Rodolfo said.
“There is also a big opportunity for German businesses to expand here in the Philippines not just for our huge domestic market, but equally important is to use the Philippines as a base for export manufacturing.” — Jenina P. Ibañez