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September 2017 Highlights & Commentary

By Anil Pillay 13/9/2017
On the 6th of September 2017, Paddy Schubert Consultants, represented by its Executive Director, Mr Anil Pillay and senior consultant Mrs Maria Townsend attended the launch of the Malaysia-Philippines Chamber of Commerce in Manila, fondly referred to as the MCCI... 

The event, held at the Marriott hotel was oversubscribed. The MCCI secretariat had expected 120 pax but 160 pax attended instead, a testament to the excitement of the launch itself as well as the realisation that the future itself looked promising.

Malaysia is indeed fortunate that the event had the full support of the Minister of International Trade and Industry, Tan Sri Mustapa Mohamed. Indeed the Chamber itself owes its genesis to the Minister and as was revealed at the launch itself, Tan Sri Mustapa had broached the subject of launching the Chamber 3 years ago. Once the concept was agreed among the relevant parties and the formation of the Board was settled, all that remained was the political will to see it through. This Tan Sri supplied in abundance. 

As he said, he was 'smiling from ear to ear ' an apt phrase that showed his sheer joy in guiding his project and seeing it come to fruition.

[Text box sidebar]  The Minister of course is not always present and the Chamber is led by its very competent President, Mr Edward Ling and Mr Eric Yam, the Deputy President. The Chamber board positions are of course non remunerative and those who join must be willing to commit their time and effort. Thus only successful businessmen or those with a successful track record are appointed to the board.

Like all national chambers, the MCCI exists to fulfil several goals. Firstly it exists to give a voice to those of us who are doing business in Malaysia and the Philippines. It might be in matters relating to trade and finance, property development, or retail businesses. Whichever the case, businessmen now have a place to go to discuss business matters. 

Secondly the Chamber exists to increase the ease of doing business in the Philippines and in a related point, to create a high level of comfort for businessmen about to embark on new ventures in the Philippines. For many years, the twin grouses of many overseas businessmen was the difficulty in getting licenses and permits in the country for whatever business activity they were engaged in and the costs ( both real and hidden ) that were associated with the process. Not only that, another favourite complaint was that new businessmen were never sure who exactly they were meeting. Many claimed to have influence and access to higher ups in Government, but when the time came to deliver, they were either absent or non- contactable and gave many different excuses. Thus the cost of doing business in the Philippines was deemed very high and the risks of business failure was ever present. 

This is exactly what the Chamber was formed to address. Knowing what Malaysian businesses would be facing, the Chamber was set up to fast track the regulatory process in a safe and legal way. Businessmen who visited the Chamber for help would appreciate that they were now dealing with an entity that was approved by both the Malaysian and Philippine governments. The imprimatur of both governments puts the stamp of officialdom on the whole process.

As Minister Mustapa said, the process has to start somewhere and the time is ripe now. The Philippines has a business friendly government and Malaysia has the Minister's support. Added to that is an activist, competent chamber whose sole aspiration is the facilitation of business in all its various forms. The recipe for success is now in place and all it needs is for businessmen to start using its services on a regular basis.
Our heartiest congratulations to the MCCI on their successful launch...