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Pascual hopeful $88-m investment pledges will materialize this year

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Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual on Wednesday expressed optimism that some $88 million worth of investment pledges culled during President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr’s foreign trips may materialize within the year.

The President has embarked on 13 foreign trips during his first year in office.

“The number that we expect to materialize in 2023 will total around $88 million. It’s small but that’s only up to June this year and we expect some more to ripen and to eventually lead to the inflow of investments,” Pascual told Palace reporters.

“It is not yet so large, but the potential we announced before, we have a pipeline that we are able to build up amounting to around $70 billion,” he added.

Pascual was referring to six projects that were already registered with the Board of Investments and other business regulatory agencies.

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Malacañang has said the President’s foreign travels this year have $23.6 billion in investment pledges.

The Palace said as of February, Marcos’ trips yielded a total of P3.48 trillion or $62.926 billion worth of investment pledges covering 116 projects.

The Presidential Communications Office (PCO bared the commitments covered the President’s trips to Indonesia ($8.48 billion), Singapore ($6.54 billion), United States ($3.84 billion), Thailand ($4.62 billion), Belgium ($2.20 billion), China ($24.239 billion), and Japan ($13 billion).

Of these, around P239 billion in investment commitments had “materialized” as of that month, the Palace said.

Meanwhile, Pascual gave assurance that despite “speculations” regarding the investment leads secured during previous foreign trips, his agency has mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the progress.

He also noted that while some investment leads “may take longer to materialize, we exert continuing efforts to facilitate investment implementation and address any attendant obstacles.”

“We ensure transparency and accountability although we cannot always disclose the names of specific companies that we deal with due to confidentiality demanded by private companies to which are subject to competitive pressures,” Pascual said.

“Bringing investments in the country is not a one-time exercise, it is a continuing requirement, we need a continuing flow of investments to the country to support our economic growth and with economic growth we create jobs for our growing population,” he added.

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