To further gain from the growing European business interests in the Philippines, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is set to conduct an outbound business mission in Europe next month. “Our planned visit to Europe this June aims to further strengthen the economic ties of the Philippines with European countries as well as to sustain the gains from our visit in 2013 and return visits made by officials and various business delegations from Europe to the Philippines,” DTI Ponciano C. Manalo, Jr. said. Led by Secretary Gregory L. Domingo and Undersecretary Manalo, the visit in Europe intends to cover countries such as Germany, Sweden, Norway, and France. “With its continuing promotion efforts including its mission to Europe last year, DTI and BOI have already received 25 inbound visits from Europe this year,” Manalo said. Last year, a total of thirty-seven missions from Europe were welcomed by the DTI and BOI. These were from Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom. “Early this year, we saw noteworthy strong Nordic businessmen’s interest in the Philippines as we welcomed business delegations from Finland and Denmark,” Manalo said. Manalo noted that these visits resulted from a DTI-BOI led high-level trade and investment mission of the Philippines to Helsinki, Finland to promote the country as a viable investment destination to European firms. Early this year, a Finnish delegation composed of executives of pension and life insurance firms and investment service providers also visited the Philippines to seek for business opportunities in the country, given its current economic gains and credit rating upgrades. This was followed by the Danish business delegation composed of members of DS Trade and Industry, and represents water, heat and ventilation businesses in Denmark. “We are confident that members of the Danish delegation will consider the Philippines as a manufacturing hub for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market and pursue interest in country’s priority areas for investment and the Public Private Partnerships (PPP) projects,” Manalo said. “In all these undertakings with the Nordic countries, we are pleased with the continuing support from Nordic Business Council Philippines (NBCP) to coordinate and invite Nordic businesses that are keen in considering the Philippines as an investment destination,” Manalo said. Aside from inbound missions from Nordic countries this year, the DTI and BOI also received inbound missions from Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. Manalo also noted that the Philippine government together with the private sector recently welcomed the Movement of the Enterprises of France or Mouvement des entreprises de France (MEDEF) business delegation, which expressed strong French interest in energy and infrastructure investments. This visit reciprocates that of Domingo’s, together with his Trade and Investment Promotion Group, and Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, last September in France, wherein they presented the Philippine economic growth and business opportunities to MEDEF. “Aside from promoting Philippine design driven products and organic food products in France as well as French investments in the sectors specified in the 2013 Investments Priorities Plan, we are also working towards establishing stronger relations with leading French industries, particularly aerospace in the field of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul, and logistics,” Manalo said. Manalo added that the Philippines considers France as a strategic European market that can showcase Philippine products to the global market.