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More renewable energy, agriculture investments coming in following PBBM’s foreign visits, says trade official

PBBM Foreign Trips

More projects on renewable energy and agriculture are already in the pipeline as a result of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s foreign trips and government roadshows abroad, which could also lead to transfer of technology to the Philippines, a trade official said on Tuesday.

“Alam po ninyo nagkaroon po ako ng pagkakataon na makasama sa isa sa mga trade missions ng Department of Trade and Industry…of course led by Secretary Alfredo Pascual. This was ‘yung nagpunta po kami sa Europe… Europe investment roadshow and nakita po natin doon napakaraming interest on renewable energy,” Trade Undersecretary Kim Bernardo-Lokin said in an interview over DZEC/Net25.

“Ngayon, ano po ba ang maganda dito? Hindi lamang pag sinabi po nating renewable energy di ba may wind, may solar. Ngayon po may mga bagong technology dito sa renewable energy na gustong pumasok dito sa atin at ‘yung iba ay nandidito na sa atin,” she said.

Lokin cited offshore wind projects, which will involve newer technologies, noting the company behind it is already working with the Department of Energy (DOE). The agency was part of the European investment roadshow.

And during the recent visit of President Marcos to Japan, Lokin said there were inquiries about possible government support as Japanese companies venture on producing their own power while operating or expanding in the Philippines.

“So, among one of them…may mga nagtatanong sa kanya (President Marcos), ‘Papaano po ba?’ sabi nitong kumpanya na ito, ‘Kami po ay nandito na sa Pilipinas, we put up our own manufacturing facility and naglagay din po kami ng aming sariling RE o renewable energy,’ nagtayo sila para pagkukuhanan nila ng kanilang supply ng energy,” she said.

“Ang ginawa ni Presidente, ‘We will give you additional incentives with the BOI.’ So, ‘yun po, meron po tayong ganyan. And siguro maganda diyan, this is also a direct way of solving ‘yung ating problem on high energy cost,” she added.

Foreign investors coming to the country are already proactive and do not rely on the existing supply of electricity and have started putting up their own renewable energy source, Lokin pointed out.

In terms of investments in the agriculture sector, she said Philippine company Auro Chocolate tied up with Japan’s Mitsukoshi for the production of flavored chocolates intended for the Japanese market.

“Sila (Auro) ay nagkaroon ng partnership with Japanese companies, ‘yung Mitsukoshi, and ito [for] the production of chocolates na merong flavor that would appeal to the Japanese like ‘yung matcha. Meron na po sila ditong investment, partnering with Auro Chocolate dito sa Pilipinas,” Lokin said.

According to Lokin, this directly affects 50 individual farmers and would translate to 1,000 families benefiting from the partnership.

The trade official said that based on the latest DTI investments monitoring, there were at least 20 identified projects and many are already pipeline, mostly in manufacturing, IT-BPM, renewable energy, data centers, and telecommunication.

The agency reported last month that there were PhP4.019 trillion or US$72.178 billion worth of investments in various investment stages as a result of President Marcos’ foreign visits. | PND

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