High growth rates attracting French companies to invest in PHL, says envoy

December 1, 2015 10:57 am 

PARIS, France, Nov. 30 — The country's good economic fundamentals are serving as a magnet for French companies to invest in the Philippines, the Philippine ambassador to France has said.

In a recent interview with Radio TV Malacañang, Ambassador Ma. Theresa Lazaro, said 13 chief executive officers (CEOs) from blue-chip French companies have shown interest in setting up their business process outsourcing (BPO) branches in the Philippines.

"In March, gusto nilang pumunta sa atin and look at the prospects. These are top, top French companies and this is very good news," Ambassador Lazaro said.

Due to the sluggish economic growth in France, many French companies are looking elsewhere to put their money in, she said.

Lazaro noted that the Philippines is a good place for investment because even with the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), it posted a 7.2 percent growth.

"It is a business thing, so nakita nila the Philippines is a very good place to invest," she said.

Citing the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) economic outlook, Lazaro said the Philippines is considered by the European organization as one of the fastest growing economies in the Southeast Asian region and it is seen to maintain a 6 percent growth until 2020.

"This is the economic outlook coming from OECD and this is very good news. At tayo ang nangunguna, more or less pareho tayo ng Vietnam," she said.

This is due to the Philippines' high growth rate, Lazaro pointed out, adding that although the country still needs to address several social concerns, the important thing is to maintain high positive growth.

Six percent is not an easy growth rate to achieve, and this is already being acknowledged by other countries, particularly by France, she added.

The reciprocal visits of French President Francois Hollande to the Philippines, as well as by President Benigno S. Aquino III to France last year also contributed to stronger relations between the two countries, the Philippine ambassador said.

President Aquino’s visit to France in September last year further strengthened the relations, she said, while President Hollande's visit to the Philippines is very significant because he was the first president of France to visit the country in 63 years of French-Philippine relations.

After those visits, France began showing great interest in the Philippines and the Philippines now also sees France as a major partner, according to Lazaro.

"France was not in our radar screen in terms of total relations but because of the visits, at the highest level, the relations is very, very good," she said.

President Aquino is here to attend the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). (PNA)

RMA/PND/EDS

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