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PIA Press Release

Texas Chamber sends upbeat trade mission to RP

Manila (22 October) -- Gus Mercado, Chairman & CEO of Datalogix Texas, a thriving high-tech company in Texas, and head of the Texas Trade and Investment Mission to the Philippines has announced the arrival of 50 top executives and entrepreneurs from Texas and other parts of the US and Canada for a special Trade and Investment conference from October 22nd to the 27th, in response to the call of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for US businessmen to do business in the Philippines.

The trade mission will focus on IT/Telecom outsourcing and Joint Venture opportunities, as well as pursue business partnerships in finance, legal services, medical tourism, export and real estate.

"This special mission to help boost the economy of the Philippines will go on as scheduled", announced Mercado. "We are saddened but undeterred by the recent news about peace and order and the political storms hovering over our trip. We are used to these and have been bringing investment groups to the country for many years, even during the dark days of martial law," Mercado added. "When you have a sincere desire to help the country and its people, you should be impervious to the political climate and resolved to welcome all the challenges that come your way."

Ethel Mercado, President of the primary sponsoring group, the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce of Texas, said: "Regardless of our current status in the U.S. or how long we have been gone, we are Filipinos, first and foremost, and we will keep coming back to pay tribute to our homeland, without being discouraged by whatever circumstances prevail during our visits."

The Texas Trade Mission's activities consist of high-level business forums on investment and joint venture opportunities in the Philippines and on international best practices on the focus sectors, business matching and visits to call centers, BPO shops and industrial parks.

According to overall Mission Coordinator Gus Mercado, it is envisioned that the mechanisms for bilateral exchange will be institutionalized to facilitate the business relationships between business people of both countries through the chamber network. "Texas stands out as the Philippines' biggest trading partner among all the states, with electronics, energy, aircraft and technical services as the leading exports," adds Mercado.

"IT outsourcing is a new frontier that U.S. corporate giants like Sprint, IBM, Convergsys, Verizon, Microsoft, T.I., DELL and a host of smaller U.S. companies are finding to be very worthwhile and appealing in the Philippines from cost and quality standpoints. As a former colony and long-time ally of the U.S., the Philippines enjoys tremendous advantages over other countries that also provide outsourced services. Unlike other countries that have British orientation, the Philippine educational system, legal and political system, accounting practices and business protocols are patterned after the U.S. "

Highlights of the Trade Mission include: Tours of the five CALABARZON provinces; visits to call centers and BPO shops and wellness centers for Medical Tourism; exploration of real estate for investment and/or retirement purposes; and one-on-one meetings with potential Philippine partners, suppliers/clients that have been arranged by the group's host organizations, including the CALABARZON Regional Development Council, the Philippine-U.S. Business Club of the PCCI, and the Pasay City Chamber of Commerce with whom the Philippine-American Chamber has signed a Sister City Chamber agreement. In addition to exploring the CALABARZON region for possible investment opportunities, the visiting business group will also participate in this week's 33rd Philippine Business Conference at the Manila Hotel, meet with the country's top business and government leaders and have a private audience with President Gloria Arroyo and the five CALABARZON governors. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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