Marcos woos US investors: PH economy ‘robust, resilient’
by Philippine Resources - September 21, 2022
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. speaks to American businessmen at the New York Stock Exchange Business Forum in New York City on Sept. 20, 2022 (Tuesday, Philippine time). Marcos, who is on the second day of his six-day trip to the United States, said his engagement at the NYSE serves as an "invaluable opportunity" to share with business leaders how the Philippines is ramping up efforts to open up the economy and accelerate post-pandemic recovery. (Contributed photo)
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Monday enticed more American businesses to invest in the Philippines, assuring them that the country has a robust and resilient economy.
Speaking before the business leaders from United States (US), Marcos shared that his administration is ramping up its efforts to further open up the Philippine economy and accelerate the country’s recovery from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Despite external headwinds, the Philippine economy’s resilience — reinforced by sound policies and decisive leadership — makes us confident about our future,” Marcos, who is currently in the US, said during the New York Stock Exchange Business Forum.
Marcos said he looked forward to more investments from the private sector for the development of various fields such as public infrastructure, energy, and agriculture, as well as for the digitalization of the Philippines.
“Over the past few decades, as the Philippines transformed into one of the most promising emerging markets, the United States has been among our steady partners. For that, we are truly grateful. At the same time, American companies doing business in the Philippines have benefited significantly from our economic successes,” he said.
“I wish to emphasize that the Philippines is keen to continue nurturing the ties that helped produce mutual benefits for both our economies, our organizations, and our peoples. Let us achieve many more milestones together,” Marcos added.
Marcos made the remarks, as he acknowledged the US and the Philippines’ “strong and enduring” ties in trade and commerce.
The US is the Philippines’ third largest trading partner and second major source of foreign direct investment applications in 2021.
On his second day in the US, Marcos also rang the closing bell of the NYSE, signaling the end of the day's trading.
‘Mutually beneficial’ investments
Marcos guaranteed that the Philippines has increased the scope for “mutually beneficial” investments aimed at generating more jobs for Filipinos and giving them a “better” life.
“For investors, doing business in the Philippines is an opportunity to reap the benefits of a vibrant economy,” he said.
Marcos told the American businessmen that the country is offering investment opportunities in areas such as information technology and business process management; medical products and devices; electric vehicles and batteries; agribusiness; and telecommunications infrastructure and services.
He stressed that despite the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, the Philippines’ economy remains “robust” since 2021 and is slated to achieve its goal of becoming an “upper-middle-income” country in the coming years.
"Bouncing back from the pandemic, the Philippine economy has seen robust growth since last year and has returned to its path toward upper-middle-income country status, achievable within the next few years,” he said.
To be recognized as an upper-middle-income economy, a country must reach the World Bank’s gross national income (GNI) per capita threshold of USD4,256 to USD13,205.
In 2021, the Philippines’ GNI per capita rose to USD3,640 in 2021 from USD3,430 in 2020 or at the height of the pandemic, according to the World Bank data.
Liberalizing the economy
Wooing the US investors, Marcos cited key legislations that would further liberalize the Philippine economy.
The enacted policies, Marcos said, include lowering corporate income tax rates and rationalizing fiscal incentives; reducing the minimum paid-up capital requirements for foreign retailers and startups bringing in advanced technology; and allowing full foreign ownership of companies providing public services.
“To international investors, the Philippines offers high-quality labor, a large consumer market, and a wide range of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. At the same time, we remain committed to maintaining sound macroeconomic fundamentals providing a clear development roadmap,” Marcos said.
Marcos also ensured that the country’s resilience to crises, noting the improved employment situation, accelerating manufacturing activities, and growing demand from trade partners in the Philippines despite the pandemic.
He said his administration’s top priorities include managing inflation, reducing the scarring effects of the pandemic, and ensuring sound macroeconomic fundamentals.
“And again, the private sector business leaders also are here with us precisely to show and explain to our prospective investors where the Philippines is headed, what changes we have made so that investment will be more profitable and more attractive for foreign investors, especially coming from the United States,” he said.
“So it plays a central role in all that we are planning to do for our economy. It is once again something that we recognize in government we have a part to play,” Marcos added.
PH workforce as ‘greatest asset’
Marcos likewise bragged that the country’s workforce is its “greatest asset” in its economic transformation, saying Filipino workers are competent and contribute to the success of investments in the country.
“They are ready to take up the cudgels, they are ready to work for the country, they are ready to do what needs to be done to bring the country forward,” Marcos said.
“So, again we have adjusted many of our ways of doing business at the behest of our friends in the United States and of the Americans businesses that are already in the Philippines,” he added.
Marcos is set to deliver the Philippine national statement at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday.
He will be the first leader of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to deliver a statement at this year's high-level General Debate.
Aside from sharing the country's views on various global concerns at the UNGA, Marcos will meet with world leaders and continue to hold dialogues with foreign investors to do business in the Philippines.
Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - May 05, 2023
Marcos makes a pitch for local battery production to US firms
Photo: President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. attends one of the meetings with US businessmen in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday (April 3, 2023). Marcos pitched to American businessmen the country’s plan to pursue local battery production with the help of foreign technology and capital to help solve problems in energy supply and other energy-related issues. (Photo courtesy of Bongbong Marcos FB page) President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. recently made a pitch to American businessmen the plan of the Philippines to pursue local battery production, with the help of foreign technology and capital, as a solution for the country’s problems in energy supply and other energy-related issues. During a fireside chat at the Blair House in Washington with US businessmen, Marcos underscored the great potential of local battery production as the government endeavors to move the Philippines’ energy mix from traditional fossil fuels to renewables. “And the part that batteries will play in that whole system cannot be overstated. And that is why it would be very good if we could bring the industry into the Philippines,” Marcos said, adding that battery production is an important pivot for the country with the advent of climate change. He said for the country to go beyond mineral extraction to actual battery production to prop up the local value chain, technology and strong industry participation are needed to see this materialize. “But to do that we need technology, we need of course the capital and the resources to undertake such activities. They are not small projects and so they require major funding and that again is another part of the situation that we have to deal with," he said. Marcos said there are many new instruments that encouraged this activity in the last few years such as green bonds and blue bonds and current rules have become very, very clear. In his talks with big companies, especially mining companies, Marcos said buyers of mineral products insist upon declaration of proof that the products that they are being sold were built using green energy. “And that I think is going to be an important part in making hopefully the manufacturing of batteries in the Philippines a success,” he said. Article courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
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Philippine Resources - June 10, 2023
DMCI Mining Targets 1.5 Million WMT Nickel Ore Shipment in 2023
Photo Credit: dmcihouse.net DMCI Mining Corporation is targeting to ship 1.5 million wet metric tons (WMT) of nickel ore in 2023, after its subsidiary Zambales Diversified Metals Corporation (ZDMC) was granted an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) in January to produce 2 million WMT of nickel ore. Prior to the ECC issuance, ZDMC was only allowed to extract 1 million WMT. “We have the necessary facilities and mitigating measures to minimize the impact of our operations on the environment. With these in place, we’re targeting to produce anywhere between 1.7 million to 2 million tons of nickel ore this year,” said DMCI Mining president Tulsi Das C. Reyes. From January to March, ZDMC nickel ore production soared by 88 percent from 318,000 WMT to 599,000 WMT, its highest-ever quarterly output. This led to a 16-percent improvement in total inventory, from 154,000 WMT to 178,000 WMT. However, total shipment declined by 21 percent from 620,000 WMT to 487,000 WMT owing to the depletion of the BNC mine and stockpile, cushioned by the double-digit growth of ZDMC shipment. Average selling price increased by 11 percent from USD44 to USD49 owing to higher Zambales shipments of higher-grade nickel ore. Despite the mine and stockpile depletion of Berong, DMCI Mining standalone revenues narrowly declined (-8%) from P1.4 billion to P1.3 billion due to better selling prices while reported net income contracted by 15 percent from P543 million to P463 million.
Philippine Resources - June 10, 2023
DMCI Power to build wind facility in Semirara Island
Leading off-grid electricity generator DMCI Power Corporation (DPC) is set to build a wind power plant in Semirara Island, home of the biggest coal reserve in the Philippines. DPC intends to finalize the wind power capacity in the coming months, with projections ranging from 8 to 12 MW, and operational implementation expected within 12 to 15 months. The project will be funded and undertaken independently by the company. “We are also looking at solar energy to augment the supply in the island, but we are prioritizing wind resource development because it has shown the most promise,” said DPC president Antonino E. Gatdula, Jr. “Current studies suggest that wind power could potentially deliver a 33% plant utilization rate, compared to just 17% for solar. Capital expenditure per megawatt for both wind and solar projects are also roughly the same,” he explained. In a 2001 wind resource study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), a United States Department of Energy (DOE) laboratory, it was found that Semirara Island has some of the best wind resources in the Philippines. The wind corridors between Luzon and Panay (including Semirara Islands and extending to the Cuyo Islands) were found to have good-to-excellent wind power density and speed for utility-scale or village power applications. DPC is in the process of validating these wind resource estimates to determine the final location and capacity of its wind project.
Philippine Resources - June 05, 2023
Semirara Mining and Power Corporation eyes Japanese market expansion
Photo credit: Bilyonaryo Integrated energy company Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) is set to make its second trial shipment to Japan this June, in a bid to reduce its dependency on the Chinese market. The company will export 50,000 metric tons (MT) of Semirara coal to Shikoku Electric Power Corporation for its 700-megawatt coal fired ultra-supercritical power station. “China is still our main foreign buyer but with their industrial output growing slower than expected, we want to develop other Asian markets like Japan,” said SMPC president and COO Maria Cristina C. Gotianun. From January to March, Semirara coal shipments to China plunged by 50 percent from 2.2 million MT to 1.1 million MT, accounting for 72 percent of exports. South Korea was a steady market at 300,000 MT, representing one-fifth of export sales. The rest of the exports went to Japan (5%) and Brunei (3%). SMPC first made a trial shipment to Japan in January 2023, selling 78,410 MT of mid-grade coal to J-Power, a utility company that operates coal, hydroelectric, wind and geothermal power stations. “For 2023, we are targeting to export around 30 percent of our full-year sales target of 15 to 16 million MT,” added Gotianun. In the first quarter, standalone coal revenues sank by 40 percent from P25.7 billion to P15.5 billion mainly due to high base effect of record production, shipments and selling prices. Standalone reported net income slumped by 51 percent from P14.2 billion to P7 billion on topline weakness and slower decline in cash costs.
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