Marcos secures P86B investment deals during Australia visit

AUSTRALIA. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during the Philippine Business Forum in Melbourne, Australia.
AUSTRALIA. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during the Philippine Business Forum in Melbourne, Australia.PCO photo

THE Philippine delegation led by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has secured $1.53 billion, or P86 billion worth of investment, from 12 business deals inked during the Philippine Business Forum held on the sidelines of the Asean-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne, Australia.

In his speech during the forum on Monday, March 4, 2024, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual said the deals are expected to drive the investment relationships between the Philippines and Australia, and contribute to Philippine economic growth.

“These agreements signify our unwavering commitment to excellence and fruitful partnerships spanning diverse sectors such as renewable energy, waste-to-energy technology, organic recycling technology, countryside housing initiatives, the establishment of data center, manufacturing of health technology solutions, and digital health services,” he said.

The 12 deals are composed of 10 memoranda of understanding (MOUs) and two letters of intent.

The two letters of intent covers the Biomass Fueled (Thorium Pellets) Simple-high-Temperature Gas-cooled Power Plant (STGR20 V) with a 40MW base load power to deliver a safe, sustainable, affordable, CO2 neutral, green base-load energy in the Philippines, as well as for the development of digital health services with a particular focus on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to improve healthcare availability in the Philippines with a particular focus on tuberculosis and other respiratory illness, which is an expansion of the company’s current operations in the Philippines providing telemedicine services to millions of Filipinos.

The MOUs cover the development, design, construction, commissioning and funding of a Tier-3 Data Center with a capacity of 30MW-40MW in the Poro Point Freeport Zone, with a land area of approximately 16 hectares; Expansion of Next-Generation Battery Manufacturing in the Philippines; deployment of decarbonization solutions comprising orchestration of renewable energy, storage, and e-mobility to New Clark City Stadium and other Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) sites to reduce energy costs, reliance on grid power, improve sustainability and achieve progress on decarbonization journey.

An MOU for a collaborative partnership on the Development of an Electric Transportation Framework throughout the properties associated with BCDA in the Philippines was also signed along with the Pambansang Pabahay para sa Pilipino (4PH)/Countryside Housing Initiatives (CHI) through the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD).

Other MOUs cover the establishment of collection centers and a recycling facility for plastic waste in the Philippines using innovative organic recycling, synthesis of biomass and carbon utilization and material synthesis technologies from an Australian university, and exports/distribution of the resulting transparent sustainable material for Australian food and beverage companies, as well as for the manufacturing of portable, affordable, and accessible Automated External Defibrillator (AED) solutions and Distribution of portable, affordable, and accessible Automated External Defibrillator (AED) solutions.

A partnership between the National Development Company (NDC), the Philippine’s leading state-owned enterprise investing in diverse industries, and an Australian company was also formed for the transfer of its waste-to-energy technology to the Philippines that converts biowaste to green fuel.

The NDC looks forward to establishing a globally recognized institute in the Philippines that would be called Southeast Asia Biosecurity Institute (SABI), focused on developing more biosecurity robust supply chains across Southeast Asia that will deliver significant economic, environmental and social benefits for the region.

Marcos urged more Australian businessmen to consider investing in the Philippines as he touted the country as an ideal destination for complementation in both manufacturing and services.

He also highlighted the country’s steadfast commitment to purposeful reforms, which is evident in key legislative amendments, such as the Public Service Act, Foreign Investments Act, Retail Trade Liberalization Act and the Renewable Energy Act.

Macos also noted the Philippine government’s initiatives in streamlining business registration, infrastructure development, and the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (Create Act), and the overhaul of fiscal incentive structures and responsive policies, including those facilitating public-private partnerships (PPP).

He also discussed the newly established Maharlika Investment Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund “that underscores dedication to financing priority projects and driving socioeconomic impact.”

“We prioritize the ease of doing business, exemplified by efforts to simplify tax payments, streamline regulations, and showcase our unwavering support for businesses,” said Marcos.

Marcos expressed gratitude to Australian businessmen who opened their doors for the Philippines.

“I invite esteemed Australian businesses to consider the Philippines as a reliable partner that can support your expansion and operations. Let us embark on a journey of strengthened economic ties, mutual growth, and shared success,” he said.

“I am hopeful that this will be complemented by other policy tools that will enhance Philippines-Australia supply chain partnerships and facilitate greater foreign direct investments. So in conclusion, let me reiterate our gratitude for your presence and active engagement in this forum. The members of my economic team will provide the support needed by your businesses for investments to continuously grow and prosper. Together with you as our Strategic Partner, we can make investments happen in the Philippines,” he added. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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