The Ambassador of Germany to the Philippines sees a huge potential for cooperation between her country and the City of Bacolod.
“I was really impressed to find such a huge potential for cooperation. There is an interest in increasing the renewable energy sector here. This is something the German business, economy, and our partners are interested in,” Ambassador Anke Reiffenstuel said.
“It’s too early to say this but I am happy that I could take back this feedback and input I got this morning during the exchange with the mayor and city executives to our business partners, and to follow up with our headquarters and to report back on these experiences,” she added.
Reiffenstuel made the comment during her courtesy visit to Mayor Evelio Leonardia at the Bacolod City Government Center yesterday.
She was accompanied by German Embassy Political Advisor Lanz Paningbatan.
Joining the mayor in welcoming the German diplomats were Councilors Renecito Novero, Carl Lopez, and Archie Baribar; Secretary to the Mayor Edward Joseph Cuansing, City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan, former City Administrator Em Ang, who is also the executive director of the Emergency Operations Center, and executive assistants George Zulueta and Moises De la Cruz.
Leonardia said he is happy that Reiffenstuel told him that Bacolod is one of the cities she is prioritizing to visit.
The mayor said the ambassador is exploring possibilities, including investments, and he told her that Bacolod has been consistently included in the annual list of the Most Business-Friendly Cities in the Philippines, as recognized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is the biggest organization of business leaders in the country.
As for the COVID-19 being a global pandemic, Leonardia said, “I also pointed out to the ambassador that this is the time that we are going to ride the road to recovery and that we should be exchanging notes and comparing our situation with that of Germany, so that we can learn from each other. She was very receptive to that.”
“As we travel towards that road to recovery, we would like to get some tips from the German Embassy, like if there are some programs that we can implement here that can speed up our recovery from the pandemic,” the mayor added.
Reiffenstuel told the city officials: “Thank you very much for welcoming me to this beautiful city. It’s my first time here, to learn about the country, the dynamics of the country, what Negros (Occidental) and Bacolod are contributing to the economy of the country, to the politics, and to the society of the country.”
“It is a learning experience to meet people and organizations here. I have to come back because I have so much more to know and to see,” she added.
Reiffenstuel was assigned to the German Embassy in Manila in August 2019. She has worked in the diplomatic service since 1993. Her postings included the German embassies in Berlin, London, New Delhi, and Cairo.*