Marcos brings home $672M in investment pledges from US

The President secured investments worth US$400 million in the telecommunications sector and US$250 million in semiconductor and electronics sector, a spokesman said.

Nestor Corrales

Nestor Corrales

Philippines Daily Inquirer


Representational image. PHOTO: UNSPLASH

November 21, 2023

MANILA – President Marcos returned to the Philippines on Monday night, bringing home $672.3 million worth of investment pledges from his weeklong trip to the United States.

Flight PR001, carrying the President and the Philippine delegation, arrived at Villamor Air Base past 9 p.m. from Honolulu in Hawaii, the last leg of his US trip.

Aside from Hawaii, Mr. Marcos had a working visit in Los Angeles, California, and attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in San Francisco, California.

In a statement, Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil said the President secured investments worth $400 million in the telecommunications sector; $250 million in semiconductor and electronics; $20 million in pharmaceutical and health care; $2 million in artificial intelligence for weather forecasting; and $300,000 in renewable energy.

The US-based Astranis and Orbits Corp. signed a $400-million project for the country’s own internet satellites on the sidelines of the Apec Summit, which is seen to bring internet connectivity to unserved and underserved areas in the Philippines.

Aside from the dedicated internet satellites, the Department of Science and Technology also signed an agreement with leading artificial intelligence meteorology company Atmo Inc. to build a high-resolution weather forecasting system for the country, which would be Asia’s biggest AI-driven weather forecasting program once operational.

The President earlier said he also wanted a deal with technology giant Starlink of American billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk to improve the perennial connectivity issues in the country.

Priority sectors

The Philippines also signed the breakthrough 123 agreement or the “peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement” with the United States, which would allow American companies to export nuclear equipment and technology to Manila.

Manila Electric Co. and American firm Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. also signed a prefeasibility study on micro modular reactors to explore clean and sustainable energy options in the Philippines.

Filipino firm Lloyd Laboratories and US-based DifGen Pharmaceuticals also pledged to invest $20 million for the establishment and operation of the first US Food and Drug Administration-approved manufacturing facility in the Philippines while Ayala Corp.’s AC Health and Varian Medical Systems partnered to build the first Philippine cancer hospital.

In San Francisco, the President told members of the Semiconductor Industry Association in the United States that both the public and private sectors in the Philippines were ready to work with the group should it plan to invest or expand in the country.

He said the Philippine government considered the semiconductor and electronics industries among its top priority sectors, citing the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or CREATE Act, which could grant incentives for up to 40 years to highly desirable projects with a minimum investment capacity of P50 billion and generate about 10,000 jobs. INQ

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