Business & Economy

EU firms still keen on PH

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The head of the European Union delegation to the Philippines said companies from Europe remained keen on tapping growing business opportunities in the country.

But at the same time, he said there were other factors, including adherence to human and labor rights, that are considered before making a final investment decision.

“Companies want to operate in a good business environment. They want respect for human and labor rights. They want good governance. All these are important parts of companies’ decisions to invest. Companies, they don’t look only at the economic benefits but they look at all (factors) in any country where they decide to invest in,” EU Ambassador Franz Jessen said during the first EU-Philippines Business Summit on Tuesday, Oct. 4.

“We are with you on the EU side. We work very closely with you (the Philippine government and businesses). We listen very carefully to the political statements said by the new government, from President  Duterte and his colleagues, and we adjust to these statements. But we do that in a slow manner. We do not overreact to different issues being raised one day after another. But over time, we do adjust. And I hope very much that we will continue the very close and productive relationship we have had for so many years,” Jessen explained.

Despite controversial remarks by President Duterte, European companies, according to Jessen, look at their investments in the Philippines as part of a long-term strategy.

The EU, for its part, also remained keen on taking bilateral economic ties with the Philippines a notch higher with ongoing negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA), the second round of which will be held in Manila in December this year. Amy R. Remo/

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