MANILA - A number of European companies have put off big ticket manufacturing investments in the Philippines, which could have brought in thousands of jobs, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) said.
The investors are hesitant to invest due to uncertainties stemming from local risk factors, ECCP president Guenter Taus said.
"They said they'll hold on to their investments until they see a clear foreign policy of the government," he said.
European companies doing business in the Philippines have also been finding it difficult to secure funding from their mother company in Europe to expand operations in the country, ECCP added.
"The comments President [Rodrigo Duterte] makes...that's the kind of news they're seeing. So then they are asking, is our money going to be safe? Is our people going to be safe? Does it make sense to invest further in the Philippines?" said ECCP senior adviser Henry Schumacher.
President Rodrigo Duterte had hit European Union after it criticized his administration's bloody war on drugs.
ECCP however clarified that European companies are not yet pulling out from the Philippines. ECCP is optimistic the Philippine government can still address investors' worries.
Red tape in starting a business is among investors' biggest concerns, ECCP said.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), meanwhile, has assured businessmen that the Duterte government is working on improving ease of doing business in the Philippines.
The trade department has coordinated with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other related government agencies to streamline the processes of starting a business.
The DTI and the National Competitiveness Council are also working to repeal close to 500 rules and regulations, mostly on customs procedure, that complicate doing business in the Philippines.
It aims to shorten the process of applying for business permits and licenses to a maximum of two days.