MANILA - Some foreign investors choose Vietnam over the Philippines due to concerns over infrastructure and ease of doing business, a European trade group said Friday.
The Philippines and Vietnam lead Southeast Asia in terms of economic growth and are expanding at clips that challenge China and India.
The Philippines has competitively priced and available skilled labor but it needs to improve its infrastructure and make customs regulations more business-friendly, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines president Guenter Taus said.
"If you look at the figures and the rise of Vietnam, there’s certainly more investments coming in to Vietnam than to the Philippines," Taus said.
"We’re way off, away from everyone. The typhoon, geopolitical issues, and relations of EU to the Philippines in comparison with other countries, if you look at the level of corruption and state infrastructure if you factor all of these in, we are certainly at the lower end of the choice for people to come in," he said.
Taus is scheduled to visit Vietnam next week to "compare notes."
"I want to understand what do they do different, we’ll do some shopping around to understand what the underlying issues are, what do they do better than we do,” he said.
Earlier, EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen said European businessmen were on a "wait and see" when it comes to investing to the country.