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Marcos sees manufacturing as key to export growth


PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said he views building up manufacturing to be a key prerequisite to growing the export sector.

“If the manufacturing operations (gain momentum), we can also export,” he said in a latest video blog. “That’s a big help because we can expand our business to other countries.”

Mr. Marcos said the money saved from foregoing imports can help be invested in the economy.

Philippine manufacturing, as measured by the volume of production index, expanded 4.8% year on year in December, the weakest gain since the 4.6% reading in September, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The December reading slowed from the revised 5.9% posted in November and 19.2% a year earlier. 

Mr. Marcos said cheap and reliable energy was also key to boosting factory output.

He said public-private partnerships will play an important role in the manufacturing sector.

The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said two major consumer goods companies — one of them Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G) — are currently establishing state-of-the art manufacturing facilities in the Philippines, “with one securing a registration with the Board of Investments.”

P&G is establishing a new facility for production of diapers “for export,” while the other, which is European is setting up a facility for personal care products, the Palace said, citing Lanie Dormiendo, head of the International Investments Promotion Service of the Board of Investments (BoI).

The Philippines also plans to host a French ship builder, “which is just finalizing its agreement with the government for the establishment of a shipbuilding facility,” the Palace said. The French company currently operates a ship repair facility in the Philippines.

A Chinese company is also setting up a $3.5-billion integrated steel mill in the Philippines.

“We also met last week a Chinese company that will be building an EV (electric vehicle) facility. They plan to manufacture three types of e-vehicles in the country with more than one billion dollars’ worth of investments,” Ms. Dormiendo said.

The PCO said the Marcos government is making the manufacturing sector “innovative and sustainable.”

The administration has been “aggressively promoting the country’s priority sectors, such as green, innovative and sustainable manufacturing and services, to attract more foreign investors,” it said.

These sectors include high-value manufacturing activities such as electric vehicle assembly, battery manufacturing and mineral processing.

“We have a lot of minerals that can be processed to form part of batteries not only for electric vehicle but even for battery energy storage system,” Ms. Dormiendo was quoted as saying, noting that the government wants to capitalize on the resources already available in the Philippines instead of just exporting them to China and Japan as raw minerals.

“We want to attract foreign investors to do a higher value activity (like) mineral processing, and then attract battery manufacturers and eventually the EV assemblers and EV manufacturers.”

Ms. Dormiendo said the Marcos administration is also actively promoting renewable energy.

The government has so far registered more than P400 billion worth of investments this year, much of it related to the RE sector, she noted.

The Department of Energy last year amended the implementing rules and regulations governing clean energy investment to allow 100% foreign equity in wind, solar and tidal power generation.

Separately, the Palace announced that the Fiscal Incentives Review Board had approved a proposal from a Singapore company to operate a 23-megawatt data center.

A US company is also putting up two 200-megawatt data centers in the northern Philippines, it added.

“Elon Musk’s Starlink is also setting up its low-earth orbit satellite-based internet services in the country, which will make the Philippines Asia’s first to have this type of service,” it said, citing Ms. Dormiendo. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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