PH aims to become regional hub – BoI

THE Philippines targets to become a regional hub for smart and sustainable manufacturing and services, and mineral processing by next year, said a top official of the Board of Investments (BoI).

“By next year, we are seeing that what would be the big drivers of our foreign direct investments would be the setting up of facilities… Our aspiration is to really become the regional hub for smart and sustainable manufacturing and services,” said Ceferino Rodolfo, Trade and Industry undersecretary and BoI managing head, during the 2023 Philippine Economic Briefing in San Francisco, California, on Wednesday.

“The second driver that we see for next year would be the processing of minerals. As we speak now, there are joint venture agreements that are being finalized in terms of their equity structure for the processing of nickel. And building on that will move toward the manufacture of materials for batteries and then batteries themselves,” Rodolfo added.

He also emphasized that the country has one of the highest power costs in Southeast Asia and infrastructure disadvantages.

However, Rodolfo is confident on further investments in the energy sector as there are increasing renewable energy players in the Philippines.

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“We are actually [in] a very good situation where we can turn these disadvantages and challenges that the Philippine economy faces into advantages,” he said.

Earlier that day, Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual told reporters in a virtual briefing that the Philippines has signed an agreement to strengthen regional supply chains under the United States-backed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework during a November 14 to 15 ministerial meeting in San Francisco, California.

Under the agreement, signatory countries committed to collaborate and take action to strengthen supply chains, promote regulatory transparency, enhance the role of workers, establish a Supply Chain Council, supply chain crisis response network and a Labor Rights Advisory Board; address facility-specific labor rights inconsistencies, identify critical sectors or key goods; monitoring and addressing supply chain vulnerabilities; and responding to supply chain disruptions.

The 2023 Philippine Economic Briefing covered topics on the Philippine economy, government spending priorities, fiscal, infrastructure and innovation programs, as well as recent reforms that have made it easier for foreign investments to do business in the country.

Mike Ibanoz

Mike Ibanoz is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who has spent the better part of two decades covering gadgets and apps, and helping people make smarter tech decisions.

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