The Philippines is positioning copper as one of the value commodities and a sustainable source of export revenues to help the government earn higher foreign exchange receipts to lift the economy.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez noted that the Philippines has at least 1.1 billion metric tons (MT) of copper reserves, reputed to be among the highest in the world. Exports are estimated to hit $2 billion annually.
“But more than just raw material exporting, we want to establish a downstream copper industry in the Philippines. We envision a fully integrated Philippine copper industry. We do copper concentrates and cathodes, but we don’t have a copper wire rod casting facility, and so we must have such a facility here so that it can also link to a number of wiring harness companies already in the downstream value chain present in the country,” he said at conclusion of Arangkada Forum 2021.
With the huge reserves, the government expects to more than double the number of workers employed by the industry. About 14,000 Filipinos are working in the industry.