Recto: PBBM’s historic working visit to Washington for the Trilateral Leaders’ Summit ensures economic security for Filipinos

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Finance Secretary Ralph G. Recto has underscored that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s working visit to Washington, D.C. from April 10 to 14, 2024 for the inaugural Trilateral United States-Japan-Philippines Leaders’ Summit will ensure economic security for the Filipino people.

“The President’s recent visit to Washington marks the beginning of a historic partnership between the world’s economic powerhouses–the US and Japan–that will not only advance economic growth, peace, and security in the Indo-Pacific region but the entire world,” the Finance Chief said.

“This synergy will go a long way in ensuring economic security for the Filipino people—which is a cornerstone of national security. The limits of what we can achieve through this heightened collaboration are countless,” he said.

On April 11, 2024, President Marcos, Jr. joined United States President Joseph Biden and Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in the inaugural Trilateral U.S.-Japan-Philippines Leaders’ Summit at the White House to advance the countries’ shared agenda of prosperity and peace.

The President explored ways to advance cooperation in the areas of critical infrastructure, semiconductors, digitalization and cybersecurity, critical minerals, renewable energy, as well as defense and maritime cooperation.

Apart from defense and maritime cooperation, both leaders expressed their support for advancing efforts to address climate change and boost the Philippine economy to allow industries to flourish and generate more quality jobs for Filipinos.

In a joint statement, the three countries announced the first Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment corridor in the Indo-Pacific.

Through this partnership, the Luzon Economic Corridor in the Philippines will be launched to support connectivity between Subic Bay, Clark, Manila, and Batangas.

It will become the first corridor in the Indo-Pacific that will bring more jobs for people across the entire region, as well as more investments in sectors critical to the future, ports, railroads, and agriculture, among others.

Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez expects that the historic trilateral summit will bring in at least USD 100 billion in investments from the US and Japan to the Philippines within the next five to 10 years.

Meanwhile, Secretary Recto engaged with top US and Japan-based business executives to bolster economic and investment partnerships on the sidelines of the working visit.

He took part in a high-level meeting between President Marcos, Jr. and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), led by Chairman Ken Kobayashi, on April 11, 2024 to strengthen the investment cooperation between the Philippines and Japan.

During the meeting, the President expressed his gratitude to the JCCI for its proactive efforts in advancing investments between the two nations and sought the Chamber’s continued support for the Philippines.

The President likewise shared the government’s game-changing initiatives to further enhance the ease of doing business in the country that will attract more Japanese investments.

“Our government remains dedicated to creating a friendly business environment through innovative policies, welcoming partnerships with the Japanese business community,” the President said.

Secretary Recto also joined the President in a meeting with Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC) top executives, led by its Founder and CEO Dr. Francesco Venneri, to discuss potential collaboration in the energy sector.

President Marcos, Jr. welcomed USNC’s commitment to investing in micro modular reactors and power generation projects in the Philippines, underscoring its alignment with his administration’s goal of providing a reliable and clean energy solution for the country.

“This initiative ensures greater energy security, reduced reliance on fossil fuels, and holds the promise of substantial economic gains for the Filipino people,” the President said.

Secretary Recto also engaged with top executives of Washington-based international strategic advisory firms to discuss potential collaboration in strengthening the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) and improving digitalization efforts in revenue generation.

McLarty Association Vice Chairman John D. Negroponte and Ankura Chairman for Latin America & Caribbean Fernando L. Batlle extended their support to the MIF by offering strategic advisory services to improve management, enhance investor participation, and attract more investments into the Fund.

Moreover, both executives offered their assistance to the Department of Finance (DOF) in enhancing its digitization systems to combat tax fraud and optimize tax collection efficiency.

Secretary Recto welcomed the firms’ eagerness to assist the government in its digitization initiatives and in ensuring that the MIF fulfills its overarching objectives, drawing from their extensive practical experiences in various countries over the years.

A delegation from McLarty and Ankura is expected to visit the Philippines soon to further discuss partnerships on the said key areas.

Meanwhile, Secretary Recto also took part in the PH-US Business Forum in Washington, D.C. on April 12, 2024 where President Marcos, Jr. showcased before American investors the country’s robust economic performance and the promising investment opportunities forged during the recent trilateral meeting.

“Together, we can seize these opportunities to strengthen our economy, attract investments, foster innovation, and create jobs for our people. Let’s harness this momentum to drive prosperity and progress toward a Bagong Pilipinas,” the President emphasized.

The forum was jointly organized by the US-ASEAN Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce.

The attendees include top business executives from Google, Lockheed Martin, Adelphi Capital, I Squared Capital, I.M. Systems Group, Inc., Manulife, SC Johnson, Chevron, and Fluor, among others.

“This visit is part of the President’s wider agenda to forge peaceful ties and foster strong and mutually beneficial partnerships with all countries around the globe. He has been going around the world to bring the Philippines to the forefront of international cooperation and diplomacy and lead the movement towards greater economic cooperation to ensure economic security,” Secretary Recto said.

The Marcos, Jr. administration’s economic managers composed of Secretary Recto, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman, and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Francisco G. Dakila, Jr. are set to meet with more American investors and business leaders to build on the progress made during the trilateral summit during the Philippine Dialogue on April 17, 2024.