'Business as usual' despite Duterte criticism of EU, traders say

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 13 2017 03:19 PM | Updated as of Oct 13 2017 11:53 PM

MANILA (UPDATED) - Business leaders on Friday brushed aside President Rodrigo Duterte's criticism of the European Union, saying it was unlikely to affect economic ties.

"For us at the chamber, and the commission it's business as usual," European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines President Guenter Taus said. The ECCP is hosting 2 investment fora in Manila this month.

Foreign investors are still keen on the Philippines, hoping to ride on the country's growth story said BDO Capital president Ed Francisco.

"The President speaks what he feels, but he has good intentions, others just have to take him with a grain of salt," Francisco said.

British Chamber of Commerce chairman Chris Nelson said no member of his group has so far asked about the President's statement. He said investors were more concerned about Manila's efforts to make doing business easier.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is in Manila for a speaking engagement, said businessmen were unlikely to get bogged down by politics.

"I was in the past, I was always very critical of Europe and the Western world. I even boycotted Britain for sometime, but the investments came in, why? Because the investors are business people, they want to invest and make money," he said.

"They don't care about your politics, provided you give them a country that is stable, where the rule of law applies. They will come," he said.