AT LEAST 5,000 jobs in the consumer products industry are expected to be created by new investment from Europe, according to EMS Group., a provider of recruitment and engineering services to international firms.

“Successfully, we were able to attract a couple of big investors in the Philippines. So, we’re in the process now of finalizing their entry into the Philippines,” Ferdinand A. Ferrer, chairman and chief executive officer of EMS Group, told reporters on Friday.

“This will be big. You know, our advocacy in EMS is about creating jobs. And this one will probably create 4,000 to 5,000 jobs just for this one company,” Mr. Ferrer said.

He said that the investment will be in partnership with EMS and will cover the operations of a large plant in Batangas that will manufacture consumer products for women.

He said the target for the Batangas site to obtain international certification will be in the fourth quarter with the start of operation set for the first quarter next year.

Meanwhile, he said that EMS is also working on expansion at the Laguna Technopark, banking on the growing interest from foreign companies diversifying from China.

“We’re working on it now. The first phase is now successful in Laguna Technopark. Our phase two, hopefully, is going to be much larger,” he said.

“There’s a lot of (foreign) companies that are saying ‘Anywhere but China’ (ABC) … we don’t want to always have this type of scenario, but the Philippines is in the right spot to take advantage of those who are trying to exit,” he added.

He said the trade war with the US is behind the divestment from China.

“There are several different products or services leaving China. And those are what we are trying to look for a partner here, not necessarily with EMS. If it doesn’t suit us, we will make introductions to other Philippine companies,” he added.

In particular, he said that the group is talking with semiconductor companies from the US and Japan, which could potentially create 2,600 jobs and invest $700 million–$750 million.

“Potentially, EMS could be their partner, but that is not the priority; the priority is to bring them here, potentially to Calabarzon,” he added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile