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German chamber seeks more details on recovery plan

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PHILSTAR

THE German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) urged the government to release a detailed recovery plan and improve infrastructure to help businesses re-emerge from lockdown disruptions.

The chamber was looking forward to more details of the post-pandemic recovery plan during President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s State of the Nation Address, GPCCI President Stefan Schmitz said in a television interview Wednesday.

“What we were expecting more was more details to the recovery plan, like how do we get out of this crisis?”

Some businesses, he said, were operating with capacities as low as 50% during the lockdown as the companies took time to arrange staff housing and other requirements.

“Many have adjusted to the new normal. Manufacturing is up. Many people work from home. But again it is connected with additional costs,” he said, referring to transportation, testing, and safety protocols.

Mr. Schmitz, who is also the Managing Director of Antrak Logistics Philippines, said the company is working with a lack of infrastructure.

“We know that we rank high in logistics costs, and that is mainly because of congestion — be it in the ports, on the roads. Better infrastructure is really needed.”

The chamber supports the reduction of red tape and the government’s commitment to improve infrastructure.

Inefficiency and red tape, he said, continue to deter new investors.

The chamber in June called for the resumption of negotiations for a free trade agreement between the Philippines and the European Union.

“I think it could be a very important stimulator. We hear more and more the call from all sectors for stimulus packages from the government to get the economy running again and this could be a cornerstone of one of those things to level also the playing field,” Mr. Schmitz said. — Jenina P. Ibañez





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