Spanish companies eye Phl as potential hub in Asia
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - March 26, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Spanish government is looking at the Philippines as a potential hub of Spanish firms in the Asian region given the two countries’ existing relations and improved business climate here.

“I think the Philippines is the best hub we can think of to introduce our companies in Asia,” Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Jose Manuel Garcia - Margallo Y Marfil said during the Makati Business Club’s (MBC) General Membership Meeting held yesterday.

As an initial step, he said it would be necessary for Spanish firms to find local partners.

“We think it is the best way to introduce our companies in the region,” he said.

The Spanish Minister is in the country with a business delegation composed of representatives of about 12 firms engaged in various sectors including infrastructure and tourism, interested in checking out available opportunities here.

MBC executive director Peter Perfecto told reporters there is strong interest from the Spanish firms in opportunities in the infrastructure sector, particularly in the government’s flagship Public-Private Partnership program.

“Just like other foreign companies, they will work with local partners,” he said.

He said that the Spanish delegation would hold meetings with local companies including the Ayala Group as well as government officials to learn more about the opportunities in the country.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said in the same event the government is hopeful that apart from infrastructure, members of the Spanish business delegation would consider opportunities in the manufacturing, tourism and agribusiness sectors.

“We see a lot of opportunities there,” he said.

Perfecto said the Spanish firms are interested in making the country a potential hub in the region given the two countries’ historical ties.

“We have historical link and (it is) very easy to work with the Philippine business community. Under this new government, there is better governance. That is the reason why they want to do this,” he said.

In line with promoting greater ties between the Spanish and Philippine business communities, the High Council of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Spain, the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain and the MBC entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to strengthen trade relations.

Under the MOU, the groups will work together to promote greater trade between the two countries through the conduct of business missions, promotion of participation in international exhibitions and trade fairs, as well exchange of information.

AYALA GROUP BUSINESS CONFEDERATION OF EMPLOYERS AND INDUSTRIES OF SPAIN FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND COOPERATION JOSE MANUEL GARCIA GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING HIGH COUNCIL OF CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE INDUSTRY AND NAVIGATION OF SPAIN MAKATI BUSINESS CLUB SPANISH SPANISH MINISTER
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