A 2020 EU-ASEAN Business Sentiment Survey showed Philippines as a potential site for EU Businesses. The country ranks fourth with 56 percent saying they are planning on expanding in the Philippines, 10 percent thinks contraction and 35 percent are still uncertain.
Overall, 53 percent of the repondents believe that it is best to expand their businesses in the ASEAN region. However, this is a reduce compared to the 63 percent rate last year 2019.
According to the study, Asean is not the only option for relocating their businesses such as supply chains but also other countries such as India, North Asia and Africa. This shows signs of diversification among businesses worldwide.
Different factors came into play that reduce the percent of confidence in ASEAN regions such as increasing non-tariff barriers, progress of economic integration in the ASEAN, and the EU-ASEAN free trade agreement.
Only 2 percent of the respondenta felt like the ASEAN has been progressing nicely economic-wise versus the 6 percent of 2019.
On the other hand, only 4 percent of the respondents find the ASEAN customs speedy and efficent
Respondents with supply chains have encountered problems with barriers in the ASEAN with 62 percent this 2020.
There is also a need for more private sector engagement. Businesses felt like that are facing unfair competetion in ASEAN.
Nevertheless there are also repondents who wants to support EU Businesses to accelerate FTA negotiations.
In the opinion of the respondents, EU-ASEAN FTA would give more benefits with 71 percent urging EU businesses to puruse EU-ASEAN FTA before its done.
In a different approach, ASEAN has shown faster economic growth this year compared to other countries amid the pandemic. There are still regions where limited growth can be witnessed and improvements on infrastracture. Nevertheless, ASEAN’S growing market recovery is visible in global markets and can be seen as a stepping stone for economic recovery.