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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

$22m in pledges secured from Indonesia firms

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The country’s capacity to improve on artificial intelligence (AI) and digital connectivity as well as to manufacture animal vaccines got a boost after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. secured some $22 million worth of investment pledges from Indonesian companies.

The Presidential Communications Office on Wednesday said the pledges were made during Mr. Marcos’ meeting with Indonesian investors at the sidelines of the ongoing 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Publicly-listed firm PT WIR Asia Tbk. said it plans to invest some $20 million until 2028 through its subsidiary PT Mata Nilai Republik, Indonesia’s first Metaverse company, for the development of augmented reality technology with the use of virtual reality and AI.

Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN), on the other hand, updated Mr. Marcos on the memorandum of understanding it signed with WIT Philippines Inc. in September 2022 for the launch of a satellite in December this year.

The tie-up calls for the allocation of 13.5 Gbps of bandwidth for the Philippines using the soon-to-be-launched satellite.

PT Vaksindo Satwa Nusantara said it will work with its Philippine partner, Univet Nutrition and Animal Healthcare Company Philippines, on veterinary vaccines, such as avian influenza vaccine, through a $2 million investment.

Marcos, during his meeting with the investors and during the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, stressed the need for stronger cooperation between Indonesia and the Philippines to enhance business opportunities in several areas.

“I cannot say now how happy I am to be able to have met with you, some of you again, and to have this opportunity so that we can hopefully explore many areas that we have really not spoken about before but are particularly relevant when it comes to partnerships between our two countries both in the private and the public sectors,” the President said.

“We have adopted a policy of very close coordination and cooperation with the private sector and that I think is also the element that will add to the possibilities to excel,” Mr. Marcos added.

The President likewise highlighted his administration’s goal of developing priority areas that include agriculture and energy.

“And we are, of course, continuing our infrastructure buildup which is the most important and absolutely critical in any – if we are to develop and industrialize larger parts of the economy,” he said.

Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual also thanked the Indonesian firms for their commitment to invest in the Philippines.

“Through your committed investments in the country, we see you as our valuable partner in pursuing robust economic growth and expansion. We look forward to our strategic collaboration and partnership in creating a sustainable and innovative future for the region,” Pascual said.

Private sector representatives from the Philippines and other ASEAN member-countries also signed an MOU for agriculture cooperation and small business development in line with the regional bloc’s economic integration bid.

The MOUs, signed for each country by their respective ASEAN-BAC representative, cover joint “studies and mentorship channels with Filipinos for potential agriculture, agriculture technology, food security, agri-preneurship business models and value chain development among small, medium, and large farmers, enterprises, and government entities.”

Meanwhile, the President urged ASEAN-member states to call on developing countries to firm up their climate action commitments, noting that “the most urgent threat to our progress is the impact of climate change.”

“It is a looming reminder of the injustice of disproportionate impact on our people,” he told chief executives and other officials of ASEAN countries in his intervention during the 43rd ASEAN Summit.

He said ASEAN, during the upcoming COP28 “must call on developed countries to heighten the implementation of their commitment.”

Mr. Marcos said the Philippines, being one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, will carry on with international tie-ups aimed at making the region climate-smart and disaster-ready.

“In achieving food security, we must build on cooperation that will harness the transformative potential of our agricultural sector to ensure that food production is responsible and will be of benefit for future generations,” he said.

“The continued effectiveness of our community-building efforts rests on a clear assessment of our strengths. The Philippines will continue to champion for change that will strengthen our institutions, improve our decision-making, and uphold ASEAN Centrality,” the President added.


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