PHL remains top investment choice for European Union companies, says Coloma

MANILA, March 14 (PNA) — Investors from the European Union (EU) member states remain keen on putting their money in the Philippines, especially in the areas of trade, energy, governance, urbanization and migration, a Malacanang official said.

Presidential Communications and Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the government continues to secure investment commitments from European companies, adding the “sustained business interest can be attributed to the administration’s efforts to curb corruption and improve the ease of doing business in the country.”

“We continue to receive commitments from European companies which we hope will convert to actual investments following our recognition as an investment destination of choice by the EU,” Coloma said.

Data from the Department of Trade and Industry show that the EU is presently the country’s largest investor by stock with total investments amounting to an estimated P440 billion. This investment has created an estimated 400,000 jobs in the Philippines.

According to figures from the Board of Investments, the net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flow from the EU amounted to US$ 174.22 million in 2012 while total FDI Stock in 2011 was at US$ 10.35 billion.

Coloma said EU investors will remain bullish in the country as additional investments from companies in EU-member nations are expected to further solidify EU’s position as the largest investor in the Philippines.

“We are gratified to see the fruition of commitments made at the ASEAN-Europe summit in Vientiane in late 2012,” he added.

He recalled that “top EU officials pledged to President Aquino increased investments in recognition of the significant reforms implemented by the Philippines to strengthen transparency and good governance which are vital in making the Philippines a preferred investment venue.”

“With the Philippine economy gearing for sustainable long-term growth, partnership with European companies can be a crucial factor in enabling the country to reach an inflection point and achieve more breakthroughs,” Coloma said. (PNA)