PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. said several US companies are now considering establishing a presence in the country because of their “optimism” about its economic growth.
Marcos made the announcements after arriving at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Sunday morning after his six-day trip to the United States last week.
During the visit, he held four roundtables with American companies with the aim of attracting more investment to the country, particularly in the sectors of information technology and business process management, digital infrastructure, clothing and apparel, and industry and infrastructure.
“I have been joined by economic officials and other cabinet members to brainstorm with these American companies, some already here and others intending to be in the Philippines,” Marcos said in his keynote address. arrival.
“We have identified opportunities and challenges to achieve our common growth and development goals in various areas,” he added.
Among the companies that have met with Marcos are Boeing, NuScale Power, WasteFuel, Cargill, Procter & Gamble and Sutherland Global Services.
The President also spoke with the US-Association of Southeast Asian Nation Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce.
Some of the companies have made “candid and constructive comments,” which Marcos said his administration will address and hopefully translate into trade deals.
Among the issues raised by companies are documentation, the regulatory environment and delays in bureaucracy. “There will be, I believe, good news to share in the coming months, particularly with respect to their plans to expand and expand their investment footprint in our country,” Marcos said.
As of press time, Malacañang has yet to reveal the amount of new investments, which resulted from the president’s trip to the United States.
Strengthened UN presence
Besides business opportunities, Marcos also reported on diplomatic initiatives in the United States, particularly his speech at the 77th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, during his visit to the United States from 18 to 24 september.
In his speech at the UN, he raised “global issues that require united global action”, such as climate change, rising food prices, rapid technological change, the peaceful settlement of international disputes, the need to protect vulnerable sectors of our society such as migrants and to put an end to all forms of prejudice.
He said he also met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to express the country’s intention to “strengthen” its role at the UN.
“I have expressed interest in strengthening our role in UN peacekeeping operations, particularly in areas such as the Middle East where we have a large concentration of OFW,” Marcos said.
The president revealed earlier the country’s bid to secure a seat on the UN Security Council.
He added that he also invited António Guterres to personally visit the country in the near future.
Marcos also discussed his formal and informal bilateral meetings with the United States and Japan and other key partners to address the country’s priority issues of food and energy security and climate change,
“Our discussions have been very productive and Cabinet members will now work to operationalize the many areas of cooperation we have identified,” Marcos said.
Last Saturday, the president also spoke outside the Asia Society headquarters in New York, where he reiterated the country’s position to treat the United States as one of its closest allies, especially for modernization. of its defense and its armed forces.
On the issue of the country’s territorial dispute with China in the Western Philippine Sea, he stressed that it should be resolved through diplomacy.
He also pushed for the peaceful resolution of tensions in the Taiwan Strait, the Korean Peninsula as well as in Ukraine.
The visit to the United States was Marcos’ third overseas trip after Indonesia and Singapore since assuming the presidency.