PH stands to gain $875 million from business deals with Russia » Manila Bulletin Business

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By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Philippines has generated a total of $875 million worth of economic benefits from various business deals forged during President Duterte’s short official visit to Russia.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez reported that these business to business projects between Philippines and Russian firms are in various areas from iron and steel, transport, agri-business, multi-purpose vehicles, power, energy, property development, transport and construction.

Ph-Russia Business Forum in Moscow – Philippine trade officials and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (CCIRF) exchanged views on ways to strengthen PH-Russia trade and investment cooperation, in a business forum in Moscow on May 25, 2017 as part of the PH’s official visit to Russia. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez (4th from L) led the PH delegation with Science & Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña (3rd from L), Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion (2nd from left) and other trade officials. Deputy Minister for Economic Development Alexander Tsybulskiy (center) and CCIRF President Sergey Katyrin (2nd from right) led the Russian delegation. CCIRF represents the interests of small, medium-size, and big enterprises in manufacturing, domestic and foreign trade, agriculture, the finance system, and the services sectors in Russia. Lopez shared with Russians the Dutertenomics framework for inclusive growth, as well as the Philippine’s current growth story characterized by strong macro-economic fundamentals, strong investors’ confidence and good governance. The Philippine delegation showcased various trade and investment opportunities available to Russian businessmen, as well as key industries, wherein the Philippines has comparative advantage.

About 300 businessmen accompanied Duterte’s official visit to Moscow.

Lopez said there were also economic, scientific and technical cooperation among private and government institutions like DTI-Philippine International Trading Corp., Board of Investments, industry associations like the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Roscongress Foundation and CCRIF of Russia.

The DTI also signed two agreements, one a memorandum of intent on trade and investment promotion and a memorandum of understanding on industry development.

Lopez and Foreign Affairs Secretary Peter Alan Cayetano along with some government officials stayed on in Moscow to continue some of the activities originally scheduled under the President’s trip for May 22-26.

Duterte had to cut short his trip skipping most of his schedules to be able to come home after the Maute Group attacked Marawi City. The President then declared Martial Law for the entire of Mindanao, the second largest island grouping in the Philippines.

Lopez and Cayetano continued with the planned official program that can be implemented at the Minister’s level such as the official meetings with our counterparts and signing of bilateral agreements, as well as the planned business fora.

For DTI, Lopez proceeded with the meetings with Russian business groups and the business fora in Moscow and St. Petersburg attended by delegates from the Russian business community and the Filipino business delegates.

Lopez said the economic breakout and the robust growth momentum of the country will not be affected by the situation in Mindanao.

“Economic growth that brings more jobs and income opportunities for the Filipinos, especially in the countryside, will continue,” he said.

Lopez cited the bold infrastructure program nationwide that will bring progress and create more regional growth centers, the first quarter economic growth of 6.4 percent, the investments growth of over 30 percent in January to April 2017, the exports growth of 18 percent, the higher employment figures, the rich pool of young and talented workforce that fuel consumption and trade agreements that offer greater market access for products coming from the Philippines.

“These are all indications that our country shall continue to attract investments,” he said.

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