The Philippines reaffirmed its commitment to expand two-way trade and investment ties with Switzerland and deepen cooperation in cleantech and renewable energy, infrastructure, life sciences, and digital healthcare sectors ahead of the fourth Joint Economic Commission (JEC) to be held this week and the 65th anniversary of PH-Switzerland diplomatic relations next year.
“We enjoin Swiss businesses…to look closer in the Philippines and assess the merits of investing into the country given the set of incentives that we offer, matched with unparalleled abundance and cost efficiency of labor and of course, access to strategic markets,” Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo said during the virtual business forum entitled “Philippines and Switzerland: Investing Together for a Better Future.”
Despite the pandemic, bilateral trade between the Philippines and Switzerland rose to USD 764M in 2020 and Philippine exports to the European country rose 8% over the same period, said Usec. Rodolfo. Over the last five years, approved investments from Switzerland reached P1B as Swiss entities like Nestle, Franke Food Service, and CHAMP Cargosystems, among many others, continue to thrive and make it happen in the Philippines.
One of the sectors geared for closer collaboration in clean technology and renewable energy (RE), which is especially relevant as the Philippines seeks to increase the share of renewables to more than half of the power generation mix by 2040. The investment opportunities in RE lie in upstream development, generation, retail, transmission, and distribution, according to Mylene C. Capongcol, Director, Department of Energy.
Swiss organizations can look into supporting the development of the Philippine infrastructure sector. Switzerland is a donor and shareholder of the Asian Development Bank since 1967, helping the Manila-based multilateral lender finance the growth aspirations of countries like the Philippines.
Health is another sector that can benefit from Swiss expertise, especially as the pandemic highlighted the urgent need to digitize and increase the resilience of the healthcare system.