EPBN - a chance to promote European SMEs in the Philippines

While the majority of EU’s industrial and service sector is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), only a very small fraction of European SMEs are venturing into developing markets in Asia, with EU exports and investments in the country remaining below potential. Due to this fact, the EU is funding a project to bring European SMEs closer to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) SMEs. More specifically, the goal is to identify business opportunities per ASEAN country and for the ASEAN region, make these opportunities visible in the 28 EU member states and then assist the European SMEs into the ASEAN markets of their choice. Part of the project is also to create a level playing field for these European SMEs, to remove technical and other barriers to trade and investment and to foster B2B cooperation with ASEAN SMEs.

In the Philippines, the EU-Philippines Business Network (EPBN) has been initiated to further strengthen trade and economic relations between the EU and the Philippines. GPCCI is one of the partners that locally implement the EPBN project with the goal to increase and diversify exports and investments of EU business (especially SMEs), to and in the Philippines and the ASEAN regional market. The EPBN will work closely with the Philippine government, the Philippine business sector and their stakeholders in order to strengthen EU-Philippine business links through improved market access and increased competition.

EU-Philippine trade and investment relations are continuously growing, as the EU remains the largest investment partner and fourth largest treading partner of the Philippines. Locally established EU SMEs have created positive spillover effects such as job creation, industrial development and technology transfer.

The EU-Philippines Business Dialogue uncovered the high-potential trade & investment opportunities EU-Philippine SMEs share and the importance of increased business collaboration to allow for greater market share in the Philippines and ASEAN for the forthcoming ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. In addition to high-level speakers from both the Philippines and the European Union, two panels have been scheduled for discussion.

The dialogue aims to:

  • Identify opportunities in the Philippine market in sectors where EU SMEs can offer new products, technologies and services, namely in consumer goods and retail, in construction and retrofitting, as well as in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • Join forces between the EU and the Philippines to strengthen our respective positions in an integrated ASEAN, where EU-PH SMEs can increase their respective market share through stronger collaboration.
  • Improve the regulatory framework to make the Philippines the most attractive destination for trade and investments in ASEAN.

The first EU-Philippines Business Dialogue was held on 04 June 2014 in Makati City and brought together some 200 business leaders and public officials as well as representatives from multilateral organizations, the academe and civil society.




Source: EPBN