Marcos gets $4-B investment pledges from German firms

The biggest commitment was the MOU on a $3.5-billion investment in a fully integrated solar cell manufacturing facility to process silicon sand into high grade silicon ingots, which will be used to produce high grade silicon wafers used in solar cell manufacturing.

Julie M. Aurelio

Julie M. Aurelio

Philippine Daily Inquirer


President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. (L) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. | PHOTO: OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE OF PRESIDENT MARCOS/ PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER

March 15, 2024

MANILA – On the second day of his working visit to Germany, President Marcos secured at least $4 billion (about P220 billion) in foreign investment commitments from German companies in health care, information technology, agriculture and manufacturing.

The amount involved eight investment deals that were presented and exchanged during Tuesday afternoon’s Philippine-German Business Forum organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) at the Marriott Hotel here.

These included three letters of intent (LOIs) from different German companies, two memorandums of agreement (MOA), and three memorandums of understanding (MOU).

In his remarks before German business leaders, Mr. Marcos stressed the important role of German businesses in transforming the Philippine economy.

Solar cell facility

The biggest commitment was the MOU on a $3.5-billion investment in a fully integrated solar cell manufacturing facility to process silicon sand into high grade silicon ingots, which will be used to produce high grade silicon wafers used in solar cell manufacturing.

The two other MOUs were on a $71-million investment in a manufacturing facility that will modify automobiles into high-end armor protected cars and manufacture military grade armored personnel carriers for the Asian market, and a $38.25-million investment to put up data centers that will host a digital insurance platform and serve the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

The MOA is on a $109-million public-private partnership venture to rehabilitate, reclaim and recultivate 5,000 hectares of degraded farm for an organic farming project.

Automation, logistics

A deal was also signed to expand potential collaborations in mobility solutions, software services, manufacturing, factory automation, logistics services, energy, security and safety systems for buildings, consumer appliances and health care.

The three LOIs were on a $150,000 additional investment of a German company in developing a partner hospital to become a training center to support the needs of lower tier hospitals and develop a curriculum on imaging technology; a $55,000 additional investment for the development of an innovation think tank hub, and on a strategic and digital partnership in health care with the Department of Health.

Skills upgrading

In his meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the President also witnessed the signing of a renewed cooperation program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training.

Mr. Marcos said he hoped the program would be a “continuing effort” to enable Filipino workers to upskill and reskill themselves.

Scholz assured Mr. Marcos that Germany would enhance its cooperation with the Philippines in vocational education and training as part of the agreement with Tesda.

“It’s important that we also focus on this area—vocational education and training—and that we continue to cooperate closely in this sector. I believe that it will enhance the opportunities of workers from the Philippines who set out to work abroad, to live abroad, and to engage there,” he said.

“Both sides are also working toward the conclusion of the Memorandum of Agreement on the Placement of Skilled Workers and other Professionals. We will continue to work on other agreements across various areas of cooperation and look forward to their conclusion in the near future,” Mr. Marcos added.

There are around 36,000 Filipinos living and working in Germany.
Job opportunities

The President expressed optimism that his discussions with executives of top German companies here would create opportunities for jobs and skills expertise for Filipinos back home.

He met with officials of Airbus Asia-Pacific, Siemens AG and Wind Power Development (WPD GmbH) to discuss their projects in health care technology, green manufacturing, renewable energy and aerospace.

On Wednesday morning here, Mr. Marcos also visited the Siemens Energy and Gas Turbine Plant in Berlin.

In his talks with executives of Airbus Asia-Pacific, Mr. Marcos and Anand Stanley, president of Airbus Asia-Pacific, discussed partnerships in developing the Philippines’ capabilities in the aerospace sector.

The President recognized Airbus’ willingness to support the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

In response, Airbus reiterated its readiness to help the country boost its defense capabilities and enhance its joint venture partnership with the Philippine Aerospace Development Corp.
Siemens meeting

Mr. Marcos also met with Siemens president Roland Busch to tackle projects aimed at improving the Philippines’ health-care sector.

The DTI said Siemens would establish the Siemens Healthineers Training Center, which is seen to “respond to the demands and growing needs for advanced health-care services within the Southeast Asian region.”

Mr. Marcos also sat down for talks with officials of WPD GmbH and stressed the importance of their projects in promoting renewable energy sources in the Philippines.

The President encouraged German companies to set up shop in the Philippines to address their labor shortage.

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