Danish business minister Brian Mikkelsen, delegation visited the Philippines

A Danish delegation headed by The Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Brian Mikkelsen has visited the Philippines.

Along the minister, the Confederation of Danish Industry, Healthcare Denmark, State of Green, The Danish Agriculture & Food Council, Food Nation and the Danish Embassy in Manila participated during 7 – 9 May 2018. The business delegation focused on sectors with high demand within technology, design, health care, clean tech and food.

The Danish Minister for Business Affairs opened a number of events and held talks with counterparts from the Government of the Philippines. There was rich potential for broader and deeper economic and commercial relations between the two countries, reported Denmark’s Ambassador Jan Top Christensen.

Minister Mikkelsen had long and constructive talks with Department of Finance, Philippines’ Secretary Carlos Dominguez and they agreed to embark on further engagement between the two countries.

He also met with Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon M. Lopez to discuss trade and investment opportunities between the Philippines (PH) and Denmark (DK), especially concerning the PH government’s massive infrastructure program.

“The current economic growth momentum, rating upgrades, and aggressive infrastructure programs offer a lot of business opportunities for foreign investors particularly with technology-oriented services and systems,” said Secretary Lopez.

The trade chief also stressed that “President Rodrigo Duterte guarantees that your investments will be protected from corruption,” as he shared reforms to improve the ease of doing business and about the corporate tax scheme in the country.

Minister Mikkelsen praised PH’s economic growth of 6.7% and said that Denmark “wants to be part of the development happening in PH.” He also expressed interest in bringing construction firms to participate in the PH’s “Build Build Build” infrastructure program. Apart from this, the European Union (EU) member state is also keen on investing in renewable energy and affordable medicine.

Secretary Lopez welcomed this interest and encouraged the Danish to offer insights to solve the developing country’s problems and said that “unsolicited proposals are welcome.”

Meanwhile, DTI is planning a Nordic culinary tour this year to promote Filipino cuisine to DK and its neighbouring countries. DTI Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado said that they’re also planning a trade road show in DK in 2019 to promote Filipino trade and investments in general.

PH currently enjoys GSP+ privileges with the EU and hopes to elevate this to a free trade agreement (FTA) soon. Also, discussions on the Asean-EU FTA are underway, with the last meeting held in Singapore last April 2018.

On 10 May NordCham Philippines and BDO hosted the Danish Minister and delegation of Danish companies to a dinner. During this event three Danish companies gave a short speech about doing business in the Philippines, from a Nordic perspective. NNIT, Alternergy and Sonion leaders gave an honest and inspirational account of their experiences of establishing a business in the Philippines and proved the benefits of doing business in the Philippines.

Sources: Nordcham Philippines, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Ambassador Jan Top Christensen, Embassy of Denmark in the Philippines.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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