THE Philippines is considered a priority market for Spanish companies, according to a Spanish state agency helping that country’s companies enter overseas markets.
Maria Peña, ICEX chief executive officer, said on the sidelines of the Philippines-Spain multilateral partnership event in Makati City last week that “the Philippines is one of the priorities for Spanish companies… We are all from big companies, very specialized companies who are coming here to look for business opportunities.”
“The Philippines is a very interesting market for us. The reality is we are here trying to reinforce our links with the Philippine economy,” she added.
ICEX is an arm of Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Tourism.
Some of the Spanish companies participating in the event include Acciona Agua, Acciona Construccion SA, Almar Water Servicios España SL, Alsina Formwork Southeast Asia Corp., Arquimea Group SA, Ignis Desarrollo SL, Metropolitano De Tenerife SA, Seta Ph Technology SL, and Tedagua Philippines, Inc.
Ms. Peña said Spanish companies are focusing on sectors where they have competitive advantage and are seeking to establish long-term relationships with local partners.
“If we are talking about transport, water, clean energy, agro-industry, and tourism, we are the perfect partner. The Philippines’ priorities are our priorities,” Ms. Peña said.
Ms. Peña said that a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between the Philippines and Spain can happen only via the European Union (EU).
“The FTA has to be with the EU since we are a member. I think the (FTA) will be a great opportunity for Europe and for the Philippines,” she said.
“Free trade is the best way to spread wealth, to create wealth, and to have better opportunities for all of us to create good employment and to reinforce the economic base of both parts. It will be very interesting for all of us,” she added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave