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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Austrian companies keen to invest in Philippines’ EV, RE and IT sectors

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With the recent signing of an agreement with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber said Austrian firms are setting sights on the Philippines’ electric vehicle (EV), renewable energy (RE) and IT sectors, among others.

During the 49th Philippine Business Conference and Expo (PBC&E) held last week in Manila, PCCI inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

Karlheinz Kopf, Secretary General of Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, told reporters

on the sidelines of the conference that the agreement seeks to strengthen Austria’s trade relations to support its exporters “when going outside.”

“Austria is a small country with 8 million inhabitants and as a small economy, our wealth is depending on exports or partly depending on exports and therefore, first we are interested to strengthen the trade relations all over the world. And our chamber is running about 100 outlets all over the world to support our exporters when going outside,” Kopf said.

On the other hand, he said the chamber is also interested in investing in other countries.

In fact, the Austrian chamber official told reporters that the chamber has entered into a joint venture with KTM, a producer of EVs and motorcycles.

“Well just now, we have a joint venture here with KTM, the producer of electric vehicles and motorcycles, with a Philippine partner producing here also for the market,” Kopf said.

Apart from the EV industry, he noted that Austrian firms are also interested in “several fields,” such as RE and IT.

“So to support Austrian companies going abroad also with investment as I heard, that’s also an interest of Philippines…to bring in companies here and for Austrian companies. That could be interesting to be placed here with some productions and to enter the market not only in the Philippines, but also the market around the countries…and so therefore we want to try to bring Austrian companies here during the next months and years and bringing businesses from Philippines and Austria together,” the Austrian chamber official noted.

Meanwhile, Kopf said, “During the last 10 years, imports from the Philippines doubled in Austria and the export of Austria to the Philippines grew only by 50 percent. So we have an overhang from Philippine exports to Austria.”

With this, he said Austria intends to “strengthen” the relationship with the Philippines.

For her part, Christina Stieber, Commercial Counselor of Austrian Embassy said Austria is importing semiconductors, fruits, vegetables, and “some furniture as well that is coming from Cebu.”

Stieber noted that they are also looking into the textile market of the Philippines, saying this is also a “strong” sector in the country.

Asked what makes the Philippines an “attractive” market, Stieber said, “Well huge population, consumer-oriented and then with a huge economic growth…so all things that speak for the economy in the years to come.”

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