Palace: PH gets ‘preliminary’ investment pledges

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MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday stated that there have been “preliminary commitments” from the United States firms to invest in the Philippines.

This developed after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. held a series of dialogues and separate meetings with American business leaders during his six-day working visit to the US.

Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said in a press conference in New York City that the discussions with potential US investors are “exploratory.”

“Actually, ang ginagawa natin dito tinutulak natin ano kahit ngayon marami ng investments (what we’re doing is we’re pushing for more investments). There’s a marked increase. Siyempre post-pandemic ito, minamadali natin at gusto natin mas marami ang mag-invest (It is post-pandemic, we are rushing it because we want more investments),” she said.

“But primarily most of these talks are exploratory. Tinitingnan natin ‘yung mga (We are looking at) potential partnerships. Mayroong iba na nagbibigay na ng (Some have already given their) preliminary commitments,” Cruz-Angeles added. 

Marcos enticed American business leaders during the New York Stock Exchange Economic Forum on Tuesday (Manila time) to do business in the Philippines, assuring them that the country has a robust and resilient economy.

In his remarks to attendees at the Philippine Economic Briefing in New York City on Thursday, Marcos also assured US investors of “favorable” business climate in the Philippines. 

He further stated that given its economic resurgence, Philippines is the “smart” investment destination.

According to Cruz-Angeles, the government is “very optimistic” that Marcos’ trip to the US would yield many investment deals.

“Right now, there is an air of optimism and we are hoping that it can be delivered kumbaga (perhaps), as soon as possible,” Cruz-Angeles said.

“Gusto nilang mag-invest kasi nandiyan na ‘yung fundamentals natin. Naayos natin ang tax system, maganda ‘yung ekonomiya, masipag ang mga tao (They want to invest because we laid out our fundamentals. We have good tax system, robust economy, and diligent workforce). And the system is ripe now for more investment,” she added.

On Tuesday (Manila time), Marcos conducted a separate meeting with big US firms, including NuScale Power, WasteFuel, and Boeing, to bolster the aviation and energy sectors in the Philippines.

Marcos, on his fourth day in the US, met with the executives of American global food corporation Cargill to discuss ways to attain food security and self-sufficiency, as well as to boost agricultural productivity in the Philippines. 

In addition, he met with members of the US-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce to discuss business matters.

On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, Marcos met with world leaders including US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.