EU-Philippine high-level panel strategises to revitalise trade and investment in post-pandemic era

EU and Philippine business leaders convene at a national forum in Makati, exploring strategies for sustainable growth through strategic partnerships

Cover - EU-Philippine high-level panel strategises to revitalise trade and investment in post-pandemic era

On 22 November 2022, the EU Delegation to the Philippines (EUD) organized its own funded panel at the two-day Pilipinas Conference – an annual flagship event of think tank Stratbase ADR Institute – on ‘Balancing Recovery with Progressive Development Through Global Cooperation’.

Discussions amongst heads and executives invited by the EU from the EU-ASEAN Business Council, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, and Philippine industry associations aimed to support the Philippines and ASEAN in reinvigorating their economies as disrupted by COVID-19.

Part of the conference day focused on business value creation and inclusive growth, the two-hour session designed by the EU served as a forum to present its perspectives on increasing connectivity, improving the business environment and attracting trade and investment from overseas in the Philippines. Panellists also discussed how to enhance interregional partnerships on infrastructure and supply chain strategies affected by climate change.

HE Luc Véron, EU Ambassador to the Philippines, opened the session with a keynote address that laid out the opportunities for increased connectivity and development despite a global economy shaken by a sharp slowdown and shortages in food supply and energy. He emphasised the necessity for legal and policy reforms that increase the ease of doing business with EU investors in the Philippines, which he assured would accelerate knowledge transfer, create jobs and support a more inclusive economy that is regionally competitive.

He further stressed the need for sustainable corporate governance with human rights requirements — referring to a recent EC proposal to ban products made with forced labour — along with the EU’s commitment to maintaining an open, rules-based trade and investment environment that enables both recovery from the pandemic and achievement of the SDGs.

This year’s conference — in its seventh run since 2016 — came at a critical time, with an incumbent administration set to chart the path ahead for the next six years in the face of new opportunities for the economy. The Philippine Government faces key decisions for market-oriented reform and good governance in partnership with the private sector, for inclusive, export-led growth and sustainable development over the years to come.

The EU, through its contribution to dialogues such as the Pilipinas Conference, remains supportive of the Philippines in its implementation of plans and policies to revive the economy and position the nation as a highly progressive and viable market through accessible trade and investment, environmental sustainability, an adaptive labor market and improved quality of life. Since 2021, it has adopted a range of initiatives under the European Green Deal — including a price tag on products with higher carbon footprints and against deforestation — to sustain a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy that is cutting emissions, creating jobs and boosting innovation.

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