Marcos vows to get investment deals in two state visits


PHILIPPINE President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Sunday promised to secure investment pledges as he left for his state visits to Indonesia and Singapore.

In a speech before his flight, the president said his state visits would “seek to harness the potentials of our vibrant trade and investment relations.”

“An economic briefing, business forums and meetings have been organized to proactively create and attract more investments and buyers for our exports, in order to accelerate the post-pandemic growth of our economy,” he said.

Mr. Marcos and other state officials will stay in Indonesia until Tuesday and will head to Singapore next.

Among those who accompanied him were Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual and Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique A. Manalo.

Vice-President Sara Duterte-Carpio will serve as officer-in-charge in the president’s absence, according to an order signed by Executive Secretary Victor D. Rodriguez.

The president’s first stop in Indonesia is Jakarta, where he will meet President Joko Widodo to discuss bilateral relations and geopolitics.

They will witness the signing of several agreements, particularly on defense and security, the creative economy and culture.

These include the Philippines-Indonesia Plan of Action for the next five years, which Mr. Marcos said “commits both countries to projects and activities covering the full range of bilateral ties.”

“We will reaffirm our ties with a fellow archipelagic nation and ASEAN co-founder, Indonesia, with whom we share an extensive maritime border in the south of the Philippines.”

The Philippine leader said he would seek partnership with Indonesia for investments in critical areas such as agriculture and energy, his administration’s major priorities.

In his Singapore visit on Sept. 6 and 7, Mr. Marcos will meet both President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to boost trade and investment relations.

He is expected to renew the Philippines’ commitment to bilateral relations and discuss regional and global issues with them.

Singapore has become the Philippines’ top trading partner in the region and the top source of approved investments in 2021, Mr. Marcos said.

“I expect that we will be coming back with a harvest of business deals to be signed in my state visits that will further strengthen our economic ties with both Indonesia and Singapore,” he said.

Mr. Marcos said the initiatives are in line with his government’s priorities. These include agriculture, food security, energy and long-term plans for the country’s emergence into the new global economy.

He will also meet with the Filipino community in Singapore, which is home to 200,000 Filipinos, the presidential palace said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza