Sep 192014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/10/06MANILA4430.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4430 2006-10-20 06:39 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO5249
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #4430/01 2930639
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 200639Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3584
INFO RUEHZS/ASEAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 004430

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ENRG EPET PGOV EAID RP
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR HIGHLIGHTS AMERICAN INVESTMENTS AT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEETING

¶1. Summary. The Ambassador spoke to approximately 1,000 Philippine
Chamber of Commerce members about American investments in the
Philippines on October 18. The Ambassador underscored the long
history of American investors in the Philippines and urged the
business audience to focus on exploiting the country’s many
advantages, such as its excellent human resources, noting the
emerging call center and business process outsourcing sectors as
areas of recent success for U.S. investors. She also highlighted
commercial partnerships between the U.S. and Philippine governments.
End Summary.

——————————–
Philippine Chambers of Commerce
——————————-

¶2. On October 18 the Ambassador spoke to 1,000 Philippine Chambers
of Commerce (PCCI) members at the opening of their annual three-day
meeting in Manila. The conference attracted businesspeople from all
over the Philippines and had the highest level of attendance in 32
years, including representatives from a record number of Chambers
from the southern island of Mindanao. Under the banner of “Seizing
Global Opportunities”, the conference focused on enhancing the
Philippines’ competitiveness and encouraging businesses to
pro-actively seek out investment opportunities.

¶3. PCCI and the Philippine government recently hosted a
Competitiveness Summit intended to address many of the issues
holding back both foreign and domestic investment. At both events,
local leaders outlined goals with specific action plans and time
tables – including reducing the number of days it takes to start and
register a new business and creating new procedures that reduce the
opportunities for corruption. The results of PCCI’s conference will
be formally presented to President Arroyo on October 20.

————————
Private Sector Investors
————————

¶4. The Ambassador commended the long partnerships between American
and Filipino companies. She noted that for over 50 years, high
quality products from U.S. firms like Goodyear, Chevron, Kraft,
Proctor and Gamble, and Ford have been manufactured in the
Philippines, and mentioned that other employers with
state-of-the-art production facilities – such as Timex and Moog (an
aviation company) – also have important investments in the
Philippines.

¶5. The Ambassador urged Chamber members to examine the next steps
in economic development. The United States is the single largest
market for call centers and business process outsourcing (BPO),
while the Philippines is considered the most competitive supplier in
Southeast Asia. U.S. BPO businesses are investing in both
infrastructure and English language training to further build the
industry. One example is the American firm Convergys, the largest
call center operator in the Philippines, which employs close to
10,000 young Filipinos, and is investing in English-training
programs for high school English teachers. The global BPO industry
has doubled in just five years from $208 billion in 1999 to $543
billion in 2004.

——–
USG Role
——–

¶6. The Ambassador highlighted the partnerships between several USG
agencies and Philippine businesses. The U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID) funds the Microenterprise Access
to Banking Services, a microfinance program that helps private banks
develop the capability to provide loan and deposit services to
microenterprises. USAID provides training and technical support,
while banks provide the lending capital. Since starting the program
several years ago, about 320 rural banks have provided loans to more
than 330,000 different microenterprises with total loans approaching
10 billion pesos ($20 million).

¶7. The Ambassador noted U.S. Department of Agriculture’s
contributions of over $200 million in both grant and food aid loans
over the last five years to the Philippines. She encouraged local
farmers to work with the USDA on an irradiation project that will
help Philippine mango exporters increase their access to the U.S.
market. USDA hopes that by 2010 Philippine mangoes will be
available in the mainland U.S. (Note: Philippine mangos are
currently available in Guam and Hawaii). USDA also sponsors a cold
chain program, which provides a forum for education, training, and
technical assistance to a group of Philippine companies specializing
in perishable foods. Representing some of the most important and
progressive food companies in the Philippines, the membership of the
Cold Chain Association of the Philippines has doubled from 25 firms
in 2002 to over 50 in 2006.

MANILA 00004430 002 OF 002

¶8. The Ambassador ended her speech by noting the close disaster
assistance coordination between the U.S. and Philippine governments.
She mentioned that she would travel to Central Philippines on
October 19 to observe relief efforts in the wake of the recent
Typhoon Milenyo.

KENNEY

   

 

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