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Travel, supply chain concerns remain high — business group

COMPANIES involved in German-Philippine business relations have a positive outlook for the next 12 months, but concerns about travel restrictions, supply chain and logistics remain high, latest data from the German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) showed.

According to a GPPCI survey conducted from Sept. 24 to Oct. 15 this year, more than half (57%) expressed a positive outlook for the next 12 months, compared with 47% during the same period last year.

“The lesser numbers in the daily active [coronavirus] cases… and the graduation of major areas to a more liberal alert level presents a promising outlook for our survey respondents,” GPCCI Executive Director Christopher Zimmer said in a statement.

“We also welcome the recently adjusted travel-related quarantine measures for fully-vaccinated individuals,” he added.

Philippine health authorities on Monday said that the country remains at low risk from the coronavirus, but it started tightening border controls anew to prevent an outbreak of a new variant first detected in South Africa.

The country has already suspended inbound flights from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy over the Omicron variant, which authorities said has a large number of mutations. The travel ban will take effect until mid-December.

The surveyed companies said they still experience the impacts of travel restrictions (85% versus 86% in the previous year) and the problems in the supply chain and logistics (55% from 43% last year).

“An interesting amount of potential to ramp up the Philippine economy can be observed in the coming days as certain economic reform measures such as the Amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act and Foreign Investments Act are seen to be signed into law,” GPCCI President Stefan Schmitz said.

“Therefore, we ask that the Philippine government to immediately look at how we can resolve existing concerns of companies so they will be able to help the recovery of the country’s economy even before 2022,” he added.

Lack of demand (55% from 64% in the previous year) is still considered to be the top risk, followed by the economic policy framework (51% from 58%).

GPCCI said 74 firms involved in German-Philippine business relations participated in the survey, with 24% coming from the manufacturing and construction sector, 30% from trade, and 46% from services. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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