Interview with Peter Kompalla

27.07.18 AHK News

GPCCI Executive Director Peter Kompalla transfers to Europe in September. After heading the German Chamber in Hanoi for three years, he took over responsibility for GPCCI in January 2015. In an interview he looks back on the achievements of the German Chamber during that time.  

Which experiences have been most remarkable during almost four years in the Philippines?  

The German-Philippine success story has been impressive in many ways. I am honored to have been part of this. The effective cooperation between Germans and Filipinos is the base of this success. And that is not despite the cultural differences but because of them. The collaboration which I have seen in so many companies and projects has been a remarkable teamwork of high quality and output. 

However, I was also frequently confronted with the fact, that many people in Germany do not know much about the Philippines. After so many marketing efforts in Germany, roadshows with Secretary Lopez from DTI and Secretary Tugade from DOTr, conferences with the Philippines in the spotlight, publications in all major news channels, it is sobering that the country is not yet recognized in Germany as one of the most interesting and dynamic markets in ASEAN. 

What are the achievements of GPCCI in the past years? 

The most visible is without doubt in the field of bilateral trade promotion. With the strong support of the German Chamber Network (IHK/AHK/DIHK) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), we were able to establish a comprehensive service portfolio for German companies interested in the Philippine market. Moreover, we have made sure that this support is not a one-way road and developed a broad range of products for Philippine companies interested in the German and European market.  

GPCCI has been a strong supporter of the K to 12 educational reform for a long time. I am proud to say we have been able to contribute with independent company programs like the Porsche Training and Recruitment Center Asia (PTRC-A) for which GPCCI provides quality assurance via examination and certification.  

Another success is the commitment of GPCCI to the Global Compact of the United Nations and the activities with in the Global Compact Network Philippines. The chamber is actively promoting the spirit of the Social Market Economy and values such as economic freedom, openness and tolerance, solidarity and corporate social responsibility which is better known in Germany as the concept of the “Honorable Merchant”. 

And finally: The more than 30% increase of the membership base shows the attractiveness of the membership organization. But quality over quantity. GPCCI has managed to include all relevant players in German-Philippine business relations. We connected incoming businesses with our members, extended our network and by this actively fostered trade. A visible result of great team effort. 

How do you see the future of Philippines? 

Education and Training is more important than ever before and will decide about the future of the country. Addressing and solving issues independently as well as thinking outside the box must be a priority educational factor in the 21st century. The many Startups in the Philippines clearly prove the enormous creative potential in the country driven by its young and dynamic people. That makes me optimistic for the future. Besides that, a secure and successful development needs an open and competitive country. Trade barriers are poison and compliance with international standards is a must. So more than ever, we must not lessen our efforts to keep the markets open and further reduce trade barriers. 

Farewell: Which emotions does it bring?  

First, I will miss the engaged and young team of GPCCI, the many active member companies and the support of all the German and Philippine partners. We achieved a lot together and I have no doubt the success story of the chamber will continue. Secondly, in a tough and fast-paced business world, our member companies but also the chamber are in a continuous move to improve. Our competitors are faster than ever before, and constant change is a necessity to stay successful in business. Therefore, my rotation is okay for GPCCI and I know the team has the know-how and the spirit to handle the challenges ahead. For myself I am glad to have been able to contribute for several years, to manage the integration of the chamber into the global AHK Network, to make the Philippines visible in Germany and to develop our services under the brand DEinternational.