Red tape hinders Philippines investments – German envoy

Jasper Emmanuel Arcalas - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Persisting red tape is the biggest hindrance to expanding investments in the Philippines, according to German Ambassador Andreas Pfaffernoschke.

Businesses and investors still have lots of permits to secure to operate in the country, he noted.

To secure these permits, businesses have to deal with different layers and units of the government, he added.

There is corruption in certain bureaucratic processes that businesses and investors face, he said.

“Streamlining processes and reducing red tape is one of the key concerns,” Pfaffernoschke told reporters yesterday.

German companies interested in investing more “need red carpet and not red tape,” he added.

Pfaffernoschke lauded the Marcos administration for addressing red tape, saying the government is “doing right things” to provide businesses with a better regulatory environment.

“We need concrete results on the ground and not just words and good EOs (executive orders). And we are optimistic that it is going to happen,” he added.

Berlin has been “talking much closely” to the Philippines since President Marcos assumed office, compared to the previous administration, he noted.

Political stability is a factor in improving investments made by German firms in the Philippines, Pfaffernoschke said.

Political relations between Germany and the Philippines can “flourish” if there is political stability that stems from a secure and clear economic and political framework “valid for the long term,” he explained.

“It does not mean martial law. It means a found democracy wherein everybody respects the rule of law and democracy,” he said.

Germany remains one of the country’s investment partners with its foreign direct investments (FDIs) reaching nearly $150 million last year, its highest since 2005, according to the Department of Trade and Industry.

The DTI noted that Germany emerged as the “leading source” of FDI in 2023 as it contributed P393.99 billion.

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