Game Development Philippines eyes to corner sizeable portion of $18.4-B European games industry market, to participate at GAMESCOM 2016 in Germany

The Philippines is stepping up efforts in carving a sizeable niche of the estimated US$18.4 billion European games industry market and in further promoting the country as an investment destination of choice in the games-related services sector for international game development companies as the country’s industry players are set to participate at the GAMESCOM 2016 in Cologne, Germany next month.

Showcasing their games-related services and products to international companies at GAMESCOM include Altitude Games, GameOps Inc., Job and Esther Technologies, Inc., Synergy88 Digital Inc., Transcom, and Zeenoh.

The industry players’ participation in the international event is organized by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) through its International Investments Promotion Service jointly with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Berlin and the Games Development Association of the Philippines (GDAP).

Slated on August 17 to 21, Gamescom is Europe’s largest platform for the European computer and video game industry. It is organized by the Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software, bringing together developers, publishers and other stakeholders to showcase their upcoming games and game-related hardware and to promote business and collaboration. Measured by exhibition space and number of visitors, last year’s edition gathered over 345,000 visitors and 700 exhibitors from 88 countries.

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German manufacturing companies set up in the Philippines

Hong Kong-based ZAMA Corporation, a subsidiary of the giant STIHL conglomerate of Germany began operations in 2014 in the Philippines, producing two-stroke carburetors for mechanical saws and other garden and landscaping machinery. ZAMA has long operated in China and is an example of the China+1 strategy that PTIC-Berlin has been advocating to the German business community.

The hushed entry of ZAMA was worked out by PTIC-Berlin in low-key coordination with the German Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry. A second German company is set to publicly announce its decision to establish in the Philippines.

An executive of the construction company – KNAUF Gips – disclosed to PTIC-Berlin that, following several months of due diligence work, it has narrowed down the sites for the gympsum board and panel manufacturing project to three locations and that a final decision on where and when to begin operations is imminent. PTIC-Berlin met executives of KNAUF Gips at a roundtable it arranged during the visit to Hamburg of Vice President Jejomar Binay in June 2013, and introduced KNAUF to contacts at the ECCP.

Boosting renewable energy

The Berlin office contributed to the partnership between ThomasLloyd (an investment management firm that operates from Stuttgart, Zurich and London, and devoted solely to renewable energies) and Bronzeoak Philippines in several renewable energy projects in the Philippines.

ThomasLloyd pledged and began to disburse some $310 Million for 3 biomass generation projects (70 MW) in Negros Occidental, a $45 Million solar power facility (22 MW) also in Negros Occidental, and a $130 Million, 30 MW biomass project in central Tarlac.

PTIC-Berlin was invited when these projects broke ground in October 2013; and the projects were focal testimonials at the 4th ThomasLloyd Cleantech Congress in Frankfurt on 24 January 2014. At the Congress, Bronzeoak officials and PTIC-Berlin were featured presenters.

PTIC-Berlin also arranged sponsorship for the participation of the Tourism Department, the BOI, and the ECCP at the Congress. ThomasLloyd CEO, Michael Sieg, rallied more than a thousand clients at the Congress to continue entrusting their equity funds towards renewable energy projects in the Philippines. Bronzeoak Chairman Jose Maria Zabaleta, Sr., wrote PTIC-Berlin to thank it for its help and said that outcomes would have been different without the valuable help of the Berlin office of the DTI. Mr. Zabaleta sought the continued support of PTIC-Berlin in future projects.

Secretary Gregory Domingo meets Deutsche Bank chief at the World Economic Forum 2014, Davos, Switzerland

PTIC-Berlin proposed and arranged a meeting between DTI Secretary Domingo and Mr. Jürgen Fitschen, CEO of the Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank is the biggest bank in Europe, and it first established in Manila in 1975 and transformed into a universal bank 5 years later, and today also operates one of the largest outsourced business process management team (2500 fixed seats in Bonifacio Global City).

The two chiefs took up current issues, reviewed recent developments, and briefly peered into mutual interests in national and international business during their 45-minute engagement. They also agreed on closer collaboration, especially in the event that there would be exchange visits between President Benigno Aquino and Chancellor Angela Merkel in the near future.

Secretary Cesar Purisima at the Liebesmahl Reception, Hamburg, Germany

PTIC-Berlin organized in September last year a well-attended roundtable for Mr. Purisima hosted by Deutsche Bank CEO, Jürgen Fitschen, at the bank’s headquarters in Frankfurt. Mr. Purisima was on official travel to Germany to sign the updated Treaty on Avoidance of Double-Taxation. (PTIC-Berlin also arranged Mr. Purisima’s short stop at the Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg for fiscal talks with VW executives.)

The rapport between Mr. Purisima and Mr. Fitschen was evidently convivial, and this may have encouraged Mr. Purisima’s return to Germany, this time as guest foreign keynote speaker at the 94th Ostasiatisches Liebesmahl Reception held at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce on 7 March 2014. Mr. Fitschen is also chairman of the German Asia Pacific Business Association (OAV), host of the annual reception for some 400 top German business executives and owners.

PTIC-Berlin coordinated Mr. Purisima’s sponsored travel to Hamburg with OAV. The Liebesmahl was extremely useful as it allowed a positive and highly esteemed profile of Philippines, and the strongly signaled that the Philippines is open for business to Germany, Europe, and the world. The last Filipino to be invited to the Liebesmahl was former Finance Secretary Jose Camacho in 2004.