US, EU investors put Philippine plans on hold

(The Philippine Star) - October 10, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines –Investors from the US and Europe are now having second thoughts on the Philippines, with several manufacturing and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies opting to put their investments on hold while some are choosing to take them elsewhere.??

A number of trade and investment missions to the country are likewise being cancelled, officials from US and European business groups in the Philippines told The STAR.??

“The anti-American comments are beginning to harm some new opportunities for the Philippines, as we know several trade missions and BPO investment plans have been cancelled. This is regrettable,” John Forbes, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines senior advisor, said.??

“We do have information on cases of local European companies (in) manufacturing who put expansion on hold. We also sense hesitation from European firms to consider the Philippines as investment destination at this point,” European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines president Guenter Taus, for his part, said. ??

Taus said based on information the group received, several trade and investment visits from Europe to the Philippines were also under consideration of cancellation.?

“So unfortunate for all the work the entire world initiates just to go to waste,” Taus said.??

President Duterte has been persistent in his public attacks on those criticizing his war against illegal drugs. Allies such as the US, European Union and the United Nations were not exempted from these tirades. ??

Duterte earlier said he was not worried about driving away American and European investors as he could turn to China and Russia for investments.??

He likewise dared the US, the EU and human rights advocates to pull their aid to the Philippines if they continue to criticize his drug war.

Despite such remarks, the EU and the UN vowed to remain a partner of the Philippines and assured it of continued assistance. ?

However, in terms of investments, companies from member-economies of these international bodies have the final say as to where they would bring their money.??

For the US’ part, Forbes expressed hope the President’s anti-American comments would stop. ??

“Our commitment is to steadily increase trade and investment relations between the US and the Philippines,” he said.

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