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Germany strengthens trade ties with RP

Posted on: February 25, 2009

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 09:43:00 09/24/2008

Filed Under: Economy, Business & Finance

MANILA, Philippines — To celebrate over 140 years of bilateral trade relations with the Philippines, the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (GPCCI) along with the German Embassy and the German Club will spearhead the celebration of Mabuhay Germany!, a series of activities that aim to showcase German quality, technology and tradition.

According to the Department of Tourism, one out of two tourists visiting the Philippines from Western Europe comes from Germany. About 33,000 German tourists visited the Philippines from January to July this year.

“The presence of Germans in the Philippines for over 100 years speaks greatly of the friendship shared by both countries,” said GPCCI president Franz Roland Odenthal.

Today, there are over 250 German companies in various trade sectors that contribute an annual investment of $500 million, excluding reinvestments to the Philippines, said H.E. Christian Ludwig Weber-Lortsch, ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Philippines.

At present, Germany ranks sixth largest foreign investor from Western Europe in the country.

“As a country of ideas, we offer a long-term partnership with the Filipino government, companies and individuals,” said ambassador Weber-Lortsch.

GPCCI also announced Germany’s investment plans in the country.

According to Odenthal, the top three local investments of Germany include the opening of the hangar for Lufthansa Technik, the power plant of STEAG State Power Inc. in Cagayan de Oro and the opening of the third plant of Continental Temic Electronics (Phils) Inc. in Calamba, Laguna. A multinational construction equipment company will also open a production site in Malabon, Manila. Other sectors of future local investment are the BPO, maritime and mining, he added.

To expand its understanding of and network in the Philippine business market, the GPCCI will add four new honorary members: ambassador Weber-Lorsch, ambassador Delia Domingo Albert, Oscar Lopez and Washington Sycip.

Weber-Lortsch also commented on the common notion that European way of living and doing business is slow and old-fashioned.

“We may not be quick sellers because we do not think only of nominal growth or profit. We aim to deliver quality products that customers can use for the long-term,” he said. “We believe in old values that matter in business — trust and transparency.”

Following this tradition, the group will showcase its technology products in the upcoming technology Mabuhay Germany! expo in the streets of Fort Bonifacio Global City. The event, to be held on October 10-11, will be top-billed by a luxurious car show by automakers Mercedes Benz and BMW. Bosch will demo its automotive technology and power tools, including its latest hydraulics, packaging and security systems such as CCTV cameras. Visitors, young and old, will be treated to German food, tradition and pop culture in the evening for free.

Following this will be the annual Oktoberfest celebration on October 17-19. This year’s Oktoberfest is said to be bigger than the previous one with the traditional Bavarian brass ensemble, Yodel singing contests and numerous kegs of beer, said Bernd Scheider, board member of the German Club, which will spearhead Oktoberfest.

Other events to be observed include the German National Day on October 3 and the sixth German Ambassador’s Cup invitation golf tournament on October 8 to be held at Canlubang, Laguna.

Education is another core focus for Germany.

“As a partner of the Philippines, it is our responsibility to help hone the Filipino talent,” said Odenthal.

At present, there is a partnership between the German government and Philippines’ Don Bosco training center for young car technicians. Other educational institutions of Germany in the country include the European International School and the Goethe-Institute.


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