Ambassador Philippe J. Lhuillier poses with Mr. Pedro Pessoa e Costa, Executive Administrator of AICEP during his visit to the agency´s headquarters in Lisbon last 6 February 2013
13 February 2013 – Philippine Ambassador to the Portuguese Republic Philippe J. Lhuillier paid a courtesy call on Mr. Pedro Pessoa e Costa, Executive Administrator of the Agencia Para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal (AICEP), Portugal´s Trade and Investment Agency in its headquarters in Lisbon on 6 February 2013.
In their meeting, Mr. Pessoa explained to the Ambassador that AICEP is integrated within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which facilitates its wide presence in 74 countries either within the embassies or as independent offices. The agency is manned by a workforce of more than 200 professionals conducting market research and identification of business opportunities for Portuguese companies.
Ambassador Lhuillier pointed to the improved business climate in the Philippines with investor confidence steadily rising as proven by the country´s improved credit ratings since the beginning of the Aquino administration with the latest result just one notch below investment grade. With a population exceeding 95 million, the country´s large consumer base presents an attractive come-on for potential investors.
Mr. Pessoa acknowledged the growing importance of the East in the global state of economic affairs and his country´s desire to find alternative markets for its products and services. The Ambassador encouraged Portuguese companies to take advantage of the Philippine’s liberalized investment and incentive policies. He requested AICEP´s assistance in relaying the Embassy´s invitation for Portuguese businessmen and entrepreneurs to attend the annual Manila FAME.
In order to increase the level of trade between Portugal and the Philippines, the two officials agreed to conduct more business matching activities including the possibility of exchange visits of business delegations within the year.
Created in 2007, AICEP is focused on encouraging foreign companies to invest in Portugal and promote the export activities of Portuguese companies including the enhancement of their presence overseas. Aside from promoting a competitive business environment, AICEP aims to serve as a one-stop-shop agency for prospective investors and buyers of Portuguese services and products.