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$100-b windfall seen from trilateral summit

WARM WELCOME. President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. is welcomed upon arrival at Washington D.C for his trilateral summit with US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. With him are Ambassador Babes Romualdez and US Ambassador Mary Kay L. Carlson. PCO
Charles Dantes

The Philippines is poised to receive a $100-billion (P5.65 trillion) windfall of investments from both the United States and Japan in the next 5 to 10 years, which will be announced at the opening of their historic trilateral meeting at the US capital on Thursday (Friday in Manila).

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez told reporters in Washington DC that the investment package – including in energy and in semiconductors – would be announced as US President Joe Biden welcomes President Marcos and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to the White House.

Romualdez said: “We’re talking about $100 billion in investments in the next 5-10 years. Perhaps 5 years will be more appropriate because we have a lot of areas where we are putting ourselves.”

“A lot of these investments are mostly in the semiconductor industry… and also in the area of energy,” the envoy said.

“The energy exploration, which involves the West Philippine Sea, is part and parcel of what we are looking at to bump up our energy requirements, which are increasing every year,” Romualdez added.

Mr. Marcos is also expected to meet with Biden in a separate bilateral meeting, as well as several American businessmen.

Romualdez said American energy firm Ultra Safe is also planning to supply small nuclear power plants in the country.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo would host a discussion with her counterparts from the Philippines and Japan to enhance the trilateral maritime cooperation, trade, and investments of the three countries, according to White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby.

President Marcos on Wednesday flew to the United States to participate in the landmark trilateral meeting with the United States and Japan, which would also iron out the agreement between the three nations regarding peace and security in the West Philippine Sea.

“This is essentially an agreement between the United States, Japan, and the Philippines on cooperation in terms of maintaining security and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. That is the essence of it,” the President told reporters before leaving for Washington.

Mr. Marcos emphasized ongoing discussions with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, US Vice President Harris in Jakarta last September, and trilateral talks among foreign ministers and national security advisers last year.

The President said he would prioritize enhancing economic ties among the Philippines, Japan, and the US to foster resilience and security.

“I intend to explore ways of advancing cooperation, especially in the areas of critical infrastructure, semiconductors, digitalization and cybersecurity, critical minerals, renewable energy, as well as defense and maritime cooperation,” Mr. Marcos said.

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