“Geographically far but close in spirit”

It was the first visit of the delegation of PEZA, the investment-development agency of the Philippines in Hungary. Ms. de Lima, CEO of the organization emphasized in her engaging lecture organized by MKIK (Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) that the Philippines could be the ideal bridge-head for Hungarian companies in the ASEAN region.

The Philippines are the only Catholic country in Asia. It is important not only from the point of view of work schedule (i.e. bank holidays fall on the same day, which can be important in the case of outsourced help desks assistants) but also could mean a kind of cultural relationship between the islands and Hungary, Europe and the Western World. The other important issue that makes communication and investment easier there is language knowledge. Westerners believe that people in Asia have a very bad command of English, sometimes close to incomprehensible, which makes communication almost impossible even on the level of understanding. However, in the Philippines it is not true! When The United States took over the colony from Spain, they immediately sent 20 thousand English teachers to the islands in order to teach English even to the inhabitants of small villages. The result was amazing and now the island is full of people with very good, in many cases even near-native command of English. It is the reason why the costs of training workforce in the Philippines are only a fraction of the Chinese. This is not the only advantage of the archipelago. Prices are as low as, for example, in China but the standard of services is much higher, not to mention the fact that bureaucracy and corruption were eliminated with radical measures. Ms. de Lima promised; in case a Hungarian investor meets corruption, they can feel free to contact her personally; they will take the necessary measures. What is also very important but much less palpable is the human side. Philippines are very kind, friendly and open and this is true to the world of work. The proportion of strikes and protests is much lower than in other ASEAN or Asian countries and it can be very important to those who want to invest in the islands. H.E. Ms. Eleanor L. Jaucian Ambassador added; economic foundations are solid; the economy of the Philippines is dynamically developing in spite of the fact that their most important partner, the United States is having problems. All the big credit graders have graded up the credit risk of the islands. Her Excellency welcomed the recent development in Hungarian-Philippine relations; economic data are very positive. She hopes that soon there will be business delegation exchanges between the two countries.

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