Philippines’ Aquino secures $2.5b investment from US, UK

President returns ‘generally satisfied’ from week-long official visit

Gulf News

Manila President Benigno Aquino III returned to the Philippines on Sunday morning after a nearly week-long official visit to the US and UK where he was able to secure a number of commitments.

In a statement he read upon arrival in Manila, the Philippine leader boasted he was able to secure $2.5 billion (Dh9.18 billion) worth of investment commitments from businessmen he met on his travels.

According to Aquino, half of the total investment pledges came from Rolls-Royce, Asea Gaz Asia Ltd and commodities trading giant Glencore, owner of the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation (PASAR), all of which are based in the UK.

The other half of the investment pledges will come from US-based businesses, namely GN Power Limited, which plans to build two 300-megawatt coal plants in Bataan worth $1-billion; Underwriters Laboratories Inc, which will invest in a global technology research centre in Manila and Citigroup and USAid which have proposed a mobile financial inclusion programme that will bring the benefits of mobile banking to rural areas.

Other than strengthening Philippine economy by providing jobs and livelihood, Aquino said these investments would further improve the already strong ties the Philippines has with the two countries.

Aquino said he was “generally satisfied” with the outcome of his six-day official working visit.

“We had a lot of talks on the movers and shakers especially in the business community, He said.

“We are talking of very, very senior guys from some of the most established firms even in the financial sector who are gung ho about the country.”

Reforms

Aquino also reported that the UK and the US are supportive of his government’s action against corruption.

The President said UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the Duke of York Prince Andrew and US President Barack Obama all expressed their approval at how the Philippines has improved under his administration.

He pointed out that the UK had also praised the Philippines for its steps to advance peace talks and for posting a record growth rate beyond anyone’s expectations.

The President said both countries have pledged to further support the Philippines as it continues to march towards unshackling itself from the bounds of corruption.

The US and UK are traditional allies of the Philippines. Both countries support the country economically. Washington and London have also played important roles in bringing peace in Mindanao between the government and Moro rebels.

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