DTI woos Italian investors

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 24 2012 08:28 AM | Updated as of Nov 25 2012 02:31 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is encouraging Italian businesses to look at trade and investment opportunities in the Philippines to enhance relations between the two countries.

“We are endeavoring to intensify our bilateral relations with Italy, one of Europe’s largest economies and one of our largest markets in the economic euro region,” DTI undersecretary Cristino Panlilio said in his keynote speech before a visiting Italian delegation.

Given the favorable business sentiment in the country, Panlilio said Italian firms could now look at the Philippines for investment and trade enhancement opportunities.

An Italian business mission was organized by the DTI and Confederation of Italian Industries (Confindustria), Italy’s biggest association of manufacturing and services companies, from November 20 to 23.

The Italian business mission is the first in 65 years.

Confindustria sent a 21-member delegation for the business mission to meet with trade associations here such as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Italian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

The event likewise involved meetings between companies as well as discussions on programs on trading, infrastructure and energy.

Panlilio said the Italian business mission shows that the Philippines is “in the radar of every significant country in (the) world today.”

“Our long diplomatic relationship has been there since 1947. We are equally committed to strengthening even further our relationship in terms of investment and trade. Various forms of economic cooperation have already been established between the Philippines and Italy,” he added.

According to the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP), Italy was the Philippines’ 24th trading partner, with total trade amounting to over $587 million in 2011.

From 2007 to 2011, total trade with Italy grew at 8.28 percent per year.

For the same period, Philippine exports to Italy rose by 9.42 percent while imports grew 6.57 percent, respectively.

The BETP has identified Philippine products for promotion to Italy that are seen to contribute to increasing trade relations between the two countries. These products are processed marine products, processed fruits and coconut products, costume jewelry and giftware, auto parts, home furnishings, information and communication technology products and services, as well as garments.