The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) and the Philippine Consulate General in New York, recently received a 12-member business mission composed of Philippine American Chamber of Commerce (PACC) members who are keen on exploring investment opportunities in the Philippines.

“We want to do a trade mission back home to the Philippines. We think that there has been a lot good news on the Western front about the Philippines,” President Michael Nierva, who led the delegation, said in an interview at the sidelines of the economic and investment briefing organized by the DTI and Board of Investments (BOI).

Nierva cited stock market returns, investment grade ratings by credit rating agencies such as Standard & Poor's, Moody’s and Fitch, and gross domestic product (GDP) of the country. He added that it is good time to convince US companies to do business in the Philippines.

In welcoming the delegates and moderating the discussions during the briefing, Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) Trade Service Officer Michael Alfred V. Ignacio said that it is a good time to invest in the Philippines considering its current economic gains and full integration to the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.

“The Philippines is lucky to have Filipino expatriates who are very successful in their own professional fields and willing to come back and help the country,” Ignacio said.

During the briefing, the delegation was presented with the Philippine advantage and investment opportunities in key sectors as well as the country’s macroeconomic performance and economic development plan.

The group met with executives of local and multinational companies, financial institutions, potential business partners, as well as leaders and officials of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), American Chamber of Commerce (ACC), Joint Foreign Chambers, US Department of Commerce, Makati Business Club, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF), and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

Nierva noted that they had many previous trade missions in the country but did not have one in about seven or eight years.

The PACC is composed of different sectors such as arts and entertainment, energy and natural resources, entrepreneurship, financial, healthcare, import and export, legal, manufacturing, retail and hospitality, social advocacy, student and youth, and technology.

For this year, the entrepreneurship, health care, financial, import and export, and social advocacy sectors have joined the delegation.

Nierva, who works as managing director at J.P. Morgan in New York, noted that it is also good to get it to the next level, that is, to push in getting sales and front office people in the country.

“I would like to get more companies to do the front office work here (Philippines) instead of just the call center stuff,” Nierva said.

The PTIC in New York, currently led by Special Trade Representative Michelle Fatima S. Sanchez, has been working with the PACC in various projects and undertakings related to Philippine trade and investments.