ILOILO CITY -- The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham Philippines), Inc. is considering the establishment of an office in this highly urbanized city including to serve the neighboring province of Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.
Ebb Hinchliffe, executive director of the AmCham Philippines, was here for an exploratory visit and met with Mayor Jose Espinosa III and Local Economic and Investment Promotions Officer Ritchel Gavan on Monday.
“We do not have a presence here in Western Visayas. So as one of the fastest growing areas in the country, we start first to take a look at what we can do to support business in the US (United States) and the Philippines,” Hinchliffe said in an interview.
AmCham, he said, is a non-profit organization composed of American and Filipino companies.
He said as they saw it, they already have a good representation in Metro Manila, Central Visayas, and Mindanao but none in Western Visayas.
Should they decide to push through with the plan, Hinchliffe said they intend to be able to locate before this year ends.
The office will be looking at how it can promote business and encourage more companies to invest and create jobs, he said.
“Our focus is to give as many Filipinos jobs. We’re trying to get people out of poverty and there are two ways to do that- that’s education and jobs,” he added.
Hinchliffe last visited Iloilo City 26 years ago when the city then had no big malls and no highways, and had only two stoplights.
“I’ve never seen a city changes much, transform for a short period of time as this city has. I travel all over all the way from the north all down to the General Santos in the south. It’s just amazing how Iloilo has transformed,” he said.
During the meeting, Espinosa walked through the visitor on the ongoing developments, various plans, and possible investments that will be coming into this city in the next few years. (PNA)