US firms explore PH business opportunities

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 13 2014 08:17 AM | Updated as of Mar 13 2014 07:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines - American firms are interested in business opportunities in the country, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said.

According to the PCCI, a 70-man trade delegation from San Francisco, California was recently in the country to look at business opportunities.

PCCI president Alfredo Yao said the members of the delegation expressed interest in the following sectors: agriculture/agribusiness, shipbuilding, green projects, creative services, tourism, energy, infrastructures, franchising, design/architecture, technology, disaster management, business process outsourcing and IT (information technology) – enabled services, furniture, food processing and service sectors.

He said the US firms were also looking at setting up regional offices here.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee said there is interest to work with local companies particularly in terms of business processing management and IT-enabled services.

Aside from working with local firms, Lee said government agencies could also work together.

As the country was hit by calamities last year such as the 7.2-magnitude earthquake in October and Super Typhoon Yolanda in November, Lee said the San Franciso Department of Energy and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council are sharing best practices for the Philippines to become resilient.

The PCCI organized a forum with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to present business opportunities to the US delegation.

“The PCCI and DTI would help potential investors to identify Philippine companies who could be their tie-ups, and assist the investors to start and operate businesses,” PCCI chairman Miguel Varela was quoted as saying in the statement.

The country’s largest business group wants to encourage more investments to be made in the country.

“Investors would benefit from a strategic, competitive location to serve both the Philippine and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) integrated economy and be assured of a steady stream of talents,” the PCCI said.

The group said investments in the manufacturing sector, in particular, would create more jobs, generate higher salaries and support economic growth.

The government is pushing for the revival of the manufacturing sector as this is seen to allow the country to achieve inclusive growth.