PEZA, GPCCI reaffirm partnership in promoting PH to German investors

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Tereso O. Panga and the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (GPCCI) President Stefan Schmitz have strengthened the parties’ collaboration in promoting the Philippines as a smart investment destination for German investors.

This comes as the GPCCI officials made a courtesy visit at the PEZA Head Office last Tuesday, 22 August 2023, to present the results of their recent survey and discuss various issues and concerns.

PEZA currently hosts 40 registered German locator companies/projects which contribute Php 42.865 B investments (1.57% of the total PEZA investments), US $412.664 Million exports, and 21,005 direct jobs.

Positive PH Outlook among German investors

During the meeting, GPCCI presented to PEZA the results of their bi-annual AHK World Business Outlook survey conducted among the GPCCI members.

According to GPCCI, the results of the Spring 2023 survey revealed that the Philippines generally exhibited a better/higher result in the areas of economy, investments, employment, overall situation, and expectations.

It is worth mentioning that in terms of investments, the survey revealed that 46% of the participating GPCCI members are likely to invest higher in the country within the next 12 months.

“Given the recent advancements in the EU-Philippines free trade agreement and the positive outcome of a successful economic briefing in Germany back in July, we are confident that many German businesses will increasingly consider investing in the Philippines,” stated GPCCI President Schmitz.

“I think this is a good opportunity for PEZA to look at and see that this is an upbeat for investments for the country [from German investors],” noted Mr. Yves Aguilos, the Head of the Government Affairs and Data Protection Officer of GPCCI.

In response to this, Panga shared that PEZA is happy with surveys that compare the Philippines across ASEAN as it shows a vibrant outlook for the country as an investment destination.

“In ASEAN now, Philippines is projected to have the highest GDP growth rate, making the Philippines one of the best performing economies in the region and we need to take advantage of that. We don’t want to pass up on these opportunities. We can only realize these FDI leads if we’re able to improve some more our ease and cost of doing business,” he explained.

Industry issues and concerns

Aside from the updates on PEZA’s plans and ongoing initiatives, GPCCI also raised some issues and concerns affecting German investors including the amendment of the CREATE and PEZA Laws.

Director General Panga explained, “We’re glad that the President has already issued a compelling statement, directing concerned government offices to look into the create, with the objective of amending it… so that immediately we can provide relief to our locators who are unable to fully enjoy their incentives. These are the investors we have attracted to invest in the Philippines because of that promise of benefits and incentives as contained in the create and in our registration agreements with PEZA. I think that should be the starting point before we can echo the call of the President to global investors that the Philippines is the smart investment destination in the region and that the best time to invest in the Philippines is now. We need to honor our commitments,” he explained.

Panga also mentioned that PEZA will ask the Congress to amend the 28-year-old PEZA Law to be able to cope with the demands of agile locators and remain competitive worldwide amid the fast-changing market trends.

All in all, PEZA and the GPCCI vowed to strengthen its collaborations to continuously attract German investors and other foreign investments in the country and even encourage existing investors to expand operations in the ecozones.

GPCCI President Schmitz said, “With our longstanding partnership with PEZA, we eagerly anticipate offering our unwavering support to foster the promotion of the Philippines among German investors.”

“We are positive that with your help, we can amplify our brand of service so that as we promote ecozones, we create connectivity until such time that the Philippines is dotted with all ecozones and we can see, at best, ease of doing business in the country so that investors will be able to maximize their investments in the Philippines and we can be more competitive in the region,” expressed the PEZA Chief.