Netherlands a ‘gateway’ for PHL carriers in Europe


THE Philippines sees the Netherlands as a “gateway” for Philippine airline companies to expand their operations in Europe, with the potential link between two nations to facilitate business and tourism, among others, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

DTI said Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual led the roundtable meeting on the Aerospace Sector between the Philippines and Netherlands, which the agency said was a “more focused” approach to promoting the Philippine aerospace industry following the Philippine Netherlands Business Forum conducted inDecember 2022.

The roundtable meeting was organized by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in collaboration with the Netherlands Aerospace Group (NAG), a trade association that supports aerospace and aviation firms in the Netherlands by facilitating networking opportunities and accessing broader markets.

With over 100 members, NAG represents 95 percent of the Dutch aviation industry’s revenue. Currently, their primary focus revolves around aerospace and airport development, DTI noted.

According to the Trade department, Pascual emphasized in his keynote message that the Philippine government finds the aerospace and aviation industry “significant” in the country’s pursuit of economic recovery and expansion.

“Developments in this industry do not only generate employment opportunities for Filipinos but also facilitate knowledge transfer and technological development, which, in turn, will help position the Philippines as a key player in the global market,” read the statement of DTI on Monday.

According to Pascual, the Philippines is open to partnering with the Netherlands in strengthening the aviation infrastructure in both countries.

“The Netherlands has a strong aviation and aerospace infrastructure, with world-class airports, aerospace research facilities, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services. We are open to collaborate with you in sharing expertise, promoting investments, and strengthening the aviation infrastructure in both countries, enabling us to keep up with global demands,” Pascual said.

He also sees the Netherlands as a gateway for Philippine airline companies to expand their operations in Europe, given its record as a “major European hub.” This “potential link” between the two countries, DTI said, can facilitate business and tourism travel, as well as trade and investments between the two countries.

Pascual also cited education and skills development, promotion of sustainable aviation, and the development of space technology and applications as other areas for collaboration.

With the Netherlands’ “renowned aerospace engineering programs and research institutions,” the Philippines “will benefit greatly from joint research projects, knowledge exchange, and training programs, building the country’s capacity in this sector,” DTI said.

Pascual also noted that the Philippines “is positioned to be the hub for manufacturing and aftermarket services in the aerospace industry including aircraft MRO and aerospace manufacturing in the Asia Pacific region.”

The roundtable meeting was attended by Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands H.E. Jose Eduardo Malaya, DTI Undersecretary for Communications Kim Bernardo-Lokin, Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary Mylene Capongcol, Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Brussels Commercial Counsellor Magnolia Ashley, Board of Investments Executive Director Evariste Cagatan, Director Lanie Dormiendo, NAG Managing Director Frank Jansen, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) President Jack Madrid, and Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation, Inc. President Dan Lachica.

In a separate meeting with Deputy Minister Hanneke Schuiling, Pascual underscored the potential to enhance bilateral trade relations between the Philippines and the Netherlands in semiconductor and high-technology, agri-food processing, and infrastructure.

Pascual stressed in his remarks the “significant role” of the Philippines in the Indo Pacific-Asia interface as it recently assumed the role of Country Coordinator for Asean-EU relations until 2025.

Moreover, Pascual expressed interest in the country to be the sixth priority of the Netherlands for economic cooperation, following the Asean-5 countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Image credits: Bloomberg