MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay has invited German businessmen to invest in the country.
Binay, presidential adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) concerns, urged the German business community to look past the Fraport-Piatco affair and take a second look at different investment opportunities in the Philippines.
“It may not seem easy to think of doing business as usual without looking back at Fraport-Piatco affair. But that is now before the international courts, and we must let it take its own course as the stronger parts of our cooperation and partnership move on. We must not forget that we have gone through tougher things than this,” Binay said.
On separate meetings, Binay reminded the Ostasiatscheveerein (Asia Pacific Business Association and the Thewirtschasftsrat Deutshcland (Economic Council Germany) that the Philippines continues to receive investment upgrades from the international credit rating agenices as well as attract many short-term and long-term investments from abroad.
“So I believe we can move on, and I have come here to move on. The exchange of visits between Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario to Berlin in November 2011 and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle to Manila last February and Labor Minister Ursula von Der Leyen and a high-level group from the Bundestag also to Manila in March has, I believe, created a vigorous momentum for a fresh start,” Binay said.
Binay also told German businessmen that a number of major infrastructure projects are up for international public bidding in the Philippines.
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“I am sure our embassy in Berlin has already sent to you some of the details. But it remains for me to repeat here, and now, that it is time for you to take a second intimate look at the investment opportunities in the Philippines,” Binay said.
Binay said that direct German investments in the Philippines were estimated at 424 million euros in 2010. On a yearly average, indirect investments come up to around 12-13 million euros every year while corporate equity is estimated at 71 million euros, and annual turnover is believed to be at least 1.6 billion euros per year.
“Germany is our largest trading partner in Europe, with whom we had 10 billion euros in trade last year. But our two-way trade with Germany stood at 3.8 billion euros only in 2012 – 2.3 billion in exports to Germany, 1.5 billion in imports. It could stand some improvement,” Binay said.
As of 2012, Binay said 60 German companies operate in the Philippines.
Binay said these include companies like BASF, Bayer, Bosch, Lufthansa Technik, Steag Power, and other smaller companies in the I.T. and software sector.
Also present in the Philippines are the major German foundations such as Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Hanns Seidel Stiftung, as well as cultural and educational institutions like the Goethe Institut, and the German Club.