Discovering the Philippines with Frigel
Over seven thousand islands, just one nation. Today the Philippines represent one of the most dynamic and promising markets in Asia Pacific thanks to sustained economic growth, a young, well educated and growing population with new needs and consumption demands to satisfy.
But why bet on this market and what are the pros and cons of a destination so far from Italy? We spoke to Duccio Dorin, Chief Executive Officer of Frigel, a Tuscan company which specialises in the production of refrigeration systems for industrial processes.
“The decision to invest directly in Asia and establish a local sales network in Asian markets, including the Philippines, is in line with the internationalisation strategy which our company started over 10 years ago. In particular this area is of fundamental importance for our business which involves the supply of systems used in industrial production processes, above all in the packaging, beverage and biomedical sectors.
Asia is in fact continuing its marked industrial expansion and is a market which attracts not only Asian buyers, but also Europeans and Americans who invest there and buy western technologies for their production processes. Our direct local presence is essential to guarantee all the necessary support to these customers who otherwise would not take the risk of buying machinery on which their production capacity directly depends."
Before reaching the Philippines, Frigel’s first port of call in Asia was Thailand.
“The Thai hub is essential for the management of all sales in Asia and the Pacific area,” Dorin went on. “The choice of Bangkok was made on various grounds, in particular its central position in regard to the main markets of the Asia-Pacific region and South East Asia, which facilitates and accelerates the movement of people and goods. Just think that Thailand is part of ASEAN and we are located in a free trade zone with rapid communications. In addition, the ports and airports of Bangkok enable continuous cheap physical connections to all the markets in the Asia-Pacific.”
So from Thailand to the Philippines is a shorter step than you might think: the broad use of English together with a largely Catholic culture make this market attractive for numerous Italian companies.
“In our experience, the Philippine market has proven very receptive to technology and pays close attention to the life cycle cost, as well as the purchase price, in choosing processing machinery. From this viewpoint, it is a much more “mature” market than others, also considering that the Philippine companies with which we deal are very advanced and financially solid. For this reason, we don’t have any particular problems in exporting to the Philippines either from Thailand or Italy. With SACE, Dorin concluded, “we have a current operation regarding the supply of a system to a Philippine company in the biomedical sector worth around 200 thousand dollars. The customer evaluation was done quickly and also the subsequent policy. The customer, to whom we proposed this operation, with payment spread over eight half-yearly instalments, assessed our proposal very positively, which was competitive both in terms of the premium and the discount rate. This instrument, in the current conditions, can give a real competitive advantage to Italian companies intending to export to the Philippines, as to many other countries of South East Asia”.