US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson said Tuesday bilateral trade with the Philippines likely reached over $33 billion in 2022.
“While the final numbers are not yet out, total trade in 2022 will top $33 billion, a record,” she said at the forum “Indo-Pacific Partners: Growth & Stability for US, PH and the Region” hosted by the Makati Business Club.
Carlson said Philippine exports to the United States would exceed $21 billion, making the US the Philippine top export market again.
“Government cooperation is moving forward as well. Last week, we held the 10th bilateral strategic dialog where representatives from our two governments discussed the full range of our relationship, economic development issues rule of law, defense and security, global and regional challenges,” she said.
“We made progress in a number of areas and I’d like to share just two of those notable deliverables from our discussions last week. One is in the area of civil nuclear cooperation,” Carlson said.
Both governments agreed to hold, in the coming weeks, the first official consultations to prepare for 123 agreement negotiations.
Completing the negotiations will allow for greater civil nuclear cooperation, including the export of nuclear technology. This will be the first step in bringing nuclear power to help address the Philippine energy needs, she said.
“Another significant deliverable was in the subject of trade missions,” she said.
The Philippines and the US also agreed to support multiple trade missions in 2023. The collaboration will bring US exporters involved in agriculture, energy, technology and other industries to the Philippines to explore business opportunities.
The US plans to take Philippine companies interested in investing in the United States to the Select USA Summit in May 2023.
“I hope that we’ll have at least a few of the Makati Business Club members join our delegation,” Carlson said.
The US official underscored the role of the private sector from both countries in te recent spate of successes in bilateral trade between the two countries.