DTI pursuing key US investments
BY EIREENE JAIREE GOMEZ
The Manila Times
THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Wednesday said it has entered into an agreement with the United States Commerce to pursue key investments in power generation, mineral processing and infrastructure in the Philippines. In a statement, DTI said the agreement was officially made during a meeting between Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual and United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. Pascual said his intention is to also attract more US investments in power generation, especially in the field of renewable energy such as geothermal, solar and wind power for the Philippines. This is in line with the government’s plan to address energy security and the rising cost of traditional power generation in the country through untapped resources. During the meeting, the Trade department also agreed to an infrastructure business matching between the Philippines and the US. Pascual also requested US Commerce’s support for the reauthorization of the US Generalized System of Preferences that will provide duty-free privileges to a number of Philippine-made products exported to the United States. Aside from scaling up the renewable energy sector, the Philippines also wants to explore investment opportunities in green metals in partnership with US firms. The Philippines has vast resources of nickel and cobalt, which are key inputs for battery manufacturing, and copper, which is an important input for the production and manufacture of technology products. “These investments are timely as we promote the e-vehicle industry and production of high technology products in the Philippines ... The Philippines wants to add value by processing these mineral resources instead of simply exporting ores,” Pascual said. The DTI chief also highlighted the key policy reforms that enable, among others, 100-percent foreign ownership in key sectors such as telecommunications, shipping, air carriers, railway and subways. “Attracting foreign investments into our country is a top priority of the new administration. We will build on recent policy reforms, particularly amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act and Retail Trade Liberalization Act,” said Pascual. With the country’s participation in the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework or IPEF, Pascual expressed the desire of the Philippines to further closely engage with the United States in promoting and generating investments while advocating labor rights, environment and good governance.