EU envoy lauds PH’s ease of doing biz efforts

By Kris Crismundo

January 31, 2024, 4:50 pm

<p>European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron <em>(File photo)</em></p>

European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron (File photo)

MANILA – European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron said businesses will be more encouraged to invest in the Philippines with the improvement of permitting and licensing processes here.

Speaking at the Doing Business in the Philippines 2024 press launch in Makati City Wednesday, Veron said many EU companies are looking into opportunities in the Philippines as they diversify their trade and investments.

He said EU businesses are exploring investment prospects in the country in areas of renewable energy (RE), mining and mineral processing, and digital economy.

Attracting these investments would entail improving policies and processes in the government, he added.

“The EU is encouraged by the efforts of the government to improve ease of doing business. What we look at is a further streamlining of administrative processes rather than for business, in particular at local level,” Veron said.

He added EU investors also look at the country’s adherence to the rule of law and fight against corruption as well as exiting the grey list of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Veron said the EU and the Philippines are discussing possibilities to cooperate in the area of sustainable mining of critical raw materials as these are essential for the development of green and digital economy.

“The Philippines has a vast wealth of these materials and seek to increase its foothold in raw material transformation. The EU, which looks for diversification of its own supply chains, welcome that. We are currently studying how we could support the development of the local mining industry, not just in terms of extraction, but also for further transformation along the value chain,” he said.

In terms of renewables, the EU is now the largest investor in the country’s RE sector.

He also cited another potential source of investments from the EU coming to the Philippines, which is the EU Global Gateway—a 300-billion-euro financing to build infrastructure for the green economy.

“The EU and the Philippines signed last year the 60 million (euro) financing agreement for the green economy program. This program aims to assist the Philippines in embracing a circular economy reducing less waste and plastic usage, ensuring water supply and wastewater treatment, promoting energy efficiency, and growing renewable energy to address the impacts of the climate crisis,” Veron said.

Also as part of Global Gateway, a 10-million-euro funding will be poured into the Philippines from the EU for the National Copernicus Data Center that will strengthen the country’s resilience to natural disaster and climate adaptation. The infrastructure is a first of its kind in Southeast Asia.

“This has to go hand in hand with further improvements of the ease of doing business and the investment climates in the country. So if we get this right, it should be a win-win situation for both our ends,” the envoy said. (PNA)