“...removal of restrictions on foreign ownership, business entry to the Philippines— especially foreign entities —has been made slightly easier and more transparent in the last couple of years”—Erwan Heussaff
As bullish on the goings-on here is restaurateur and influencer Heussaff who has been working closely with the Department of Agriculture. “Our dads have been here forever and there have always been French companies coming in, but [the economy] hasn’t been that open. We were always at the cusp of ‘something’ happening,” he says. “But now, the floodgates have been truly opened, so to speak. I’m thus most excited in knowing that with the removal of restrictions on foreign ownership, business entry to the Philippines—especially foreign entities— has been made slightly easier and more transparent in the last couple of years.”
Heussaff, who has spent the past months with farmers up North, is thoroughly excited for a French market (à la the famous Runjis in France) in Clark Airbase, which will wholesale Filipino produce, come to fruition. “One of the largest issues I’ve had with local agriculture,” says Heussaff, “is that all the hard work that is put out on the fields is not necessarily reflected in the price that farmers get because there are so many middlemen and so many transportation and cold storage issues. So, a wholesale market in a location like Clark or Subic is strategic because it directly siphons off the produce from the North [Ifugao, Sagada, Isabela, and Pampanga]. I think that’s a really cool relationship to put in place.”
Next year, Heussaff is looking to head up a Philippine delegation and pitch three movie concepts already with scripts at the biggest content forum in the world. He describes this as a huge shopping hall for online, movie, TV, and VOD (video on demand) content where all the TV networks come and buy programs. “There you can either sell an idea or a finished product, which we have both of. Nowadays, VOD platforms such as Netflix are shopping around for Asian content. We’ll start the pitching and try to get funding locally and from France as well. We are trying to position ourselves in a way that we get international recognition,” he shares excitedly.
“This is something we both feel passionate about, being that we’re both half French, half Filipino. We live both cultures every day. We feel that France and the Philippines have a lot to gain from each other,” says Branellec.
Nilo couldn’t agree more, “They really are the backbone of the French in town. They are the new generation!”
...AND ActioN Heussaff hopes to pitch three film concepts at one of the biggest content forums in the world