Oliver 12 0 0 8 min to read

Marcos receives P9.8 billion in investment commitments after a visit to Brussels

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Following his three-day participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-European Union (ASEAN-EU) Commemorative Summits in Brussels, Belgium, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. announced on Thursday night that the Philippines had received investment pledges totaling PHP9.8 billion from European business executives.

At 6:58 p.m., Marcos and his delegation arrived at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

Following intentions by European corporations to grow their businesses in the Philippines, Marcos termed his trip as “constructive” and “successful” in his welcome speech.

“I’m also happy to report that there is a healthy level of European corporate confidence in the Philippines, as shown by the expansion plans of European firms we met in the fast-moving consumer products, shipbuilding, renewable energy, and green metals industries. According to him, an investment pledge in the amount of PHP9.8 billion has been made.

He claimed to have had “fruitful discussions” with the leaders of the ASEAN and EU member states, during which they discussed the future of ASEAN-EU cooperation, particularly in regards to issues of shared interest and concern, including connectivity, trade, the digital transition, food security, climate change, and geopolitics.

He said, “I was proud to note the recent milestones in ASEAN-EU relations under the Philippines’ coordinators, including the adoption of the ASEAN-EU Plan of Action for 2023 to 2027 and the successful conclusion of the first-ever Summit between ASEAN and EU Leaders. I was honored to deliver one of the opening remarks during the Commemorative Summit.

He also discussed the Philippines’ view on deepening ASEAN-EU commerce through efforts in sustainable development during the 10th ASEAN-EU Business Summit.

Throughout the week, he met with a number of business executives from various European companies.

“All of them pledged to contribute to our development and economic expansion, notably in efforts addressing climate change, renewable energy, infrastructure, and food security. We will be striving to address some of our main economic difficulties using European technology and innovation along with Filipino talent, ingenuity, and industry,” he continued.

Marcos claimed to have met numerous influential shipowners throughout Europe and obtained their commitment to aiding the Philippines in overcoming some of the obstacles to our seafarers’ accreditation with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) by establishing an advisory council made up of concerned governmental organizations, foreign and local shipowners, and other stakeholders.

In a meeting with the head of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, he also had the chance to discuss the Philippines’ efforts to meet EMSA requirements.

He added, “She [von der Leyen] made a promise that the Commission itself would provide technical help to us so that within the three months – we have a three-month deadline – within the three months that we will be able to remedy all of the deficiencies that EMSA has been pointing out and hopefully we finally solve this problem.

The business roundtable that the Philippine delegation convened, according to him, was a crucial trigger for the restoration of business links between the Philippines and the EU.

“The economic managers and other Cabinet members joined me when I introduced our latest game-changing laws that aim to drastically change our business environment in favor of investors and support for inward foreign direct investments,” he said.

According to Marcos, the King of Belgium gave him an audience and spoke warmly about his previous trip to the Philippines.

He extended an invitation to the King to return to the Philippines.

With his counterparts from the European Council, the European Commission, Estonia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Spain, he had bilateral discussions during which he identified numerous potential areas for future collaboration and joint ventures.

Additionally, he visited with Filipinos in Belgium and adjacent European nations such as Italy, Poland, and Germany.

“I was able to personally thank everyone for their support, so it was a very fulfilling experience. I was able to hear their worries and keep them informed about the administration’s priorities, he added.

Cold

The “downside,” according to Marcos, of his trip to Brussels was battling colds while giving speeches and participating in meetings.

“Ang naging negative lang ay nakakahiya ‘yung Presidente ninyo di ba na nagsasalita ako papiyak-piyak ako na ano ganoon,” said the speaker. But the person was not indignant at all. The only drawback was that your President was embarrassed because I would sound squeaky when I spoke. I apologized often since his winters were not appropriate for the Filipino people. However, they claimed to comprehend. I just said I’m sorry because you’re like this because your winters aren’t good for Filipinos,” he remarked.

The President said that he used to be able to manage the cold weather with ease in a surprise conversation with reporters.

“This is what I’m up to in the lamig, eh. I used to manage just fine in the cold. Ewan ko ano nangyari sa akin. I have no idea what occurred to me,” he stated.

Top European leaders, according to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo, have expressed respect for Marcos’ commitment to showing up to all meetings despite getting sick.

“Lahat po ng mga meeting niya w/ the businesses, pinuntahan niya ho w/o siyang boses, talagang pinilit niya ho mabigay ‘yung mensahe niya. Even though he could no longer speak, Sabi niya insisted on attending all of his meetings with businessmen in order to deliver his message. As the President of the Philippines, I must send the messages inviting the investors, he remarked.


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