MANILA CITY, PHILIPPINES — A high-level delegation of business leaders from Lithuania, led by Foreign Affairs Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, is exploring investment opportunities in the emerging Information Communications Technology (ICT) and renewable energy sectors of the Philippines, as stated by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual.

From L to R: MAP President Rene Almendras, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, and MAP International Relations Committee Chair Junie Del Mundo

The meeting, organized by the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) International Relations Committee (IRC) and the MAP Trade, Investments, and Tourism Committee (TITC), was held at Shangri-La The Fort, Taguig City, convening key Philippine business leaders and policymakers headed by Secretary Pascual and including the Lithuanian Ambassador to the Philippines, Ričardas Šlepavičius.

The dialogue focused on exploring avenues for bilateral cooperation and investment in promising sectors such as aerospace and pharmaceutics, leveraging the robust relationship between the Philippines and Lithuania.

“Our imports from Lithuania, driven by sectors such as aerospace and pharmaceuticals, grew substantially—a testament to Lithuania’s advanced technological capabilities and alignment with the needs of the Philippine market,” said Trade Secretary Fred Pascual.

The Philippines experienced a significant boost in imports from Lithuania throughout 2023. This surge is attributed to Lithuania’s expertise in cutting-edge technologies, particularly in aerospace and pharmaceuticals, which aligns with the demands of the Philippine market.

From L to R: MAP President Rene Almendras, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, and MAP International Relations Committee Chair Junie Del Mundo

The two-way trade is further bolstered by the Philippines’ strong export performance, with high-quality goods, ranging from electronics to agricultural products, consistently finding a market in Lithuania. There was also significant growth in carrageenan and seaweed exports, which increased the demand for Philippine marine and agri-based products.

Furthermore, the Philippines is experiencing robust economic growth, driven by renewable energy projects and the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) sector. Investment Promotion Agencies have already approved record investments amounting to PHP 1.47 trillion in 2023, while foreign investment approvals also tripled compared to 2022. The country’s GDP surged to 5.6%, setting it on a trajectory to become a USD one-trillion economy by 2033.

In photo: DTI Secretary Fred Pascual with representatives of the Lithuanian delegation and MAP

Beyond these current economic feats, the Philippines aims to become a hub for electric vehicles, high-tech agriculture, and renewable energy. These industries create future-ready jobs and contribute to the government’s ambitious goals of a 35% renewable energy share in the national power mix by 2030, rising to 50% by 2040.

The government’s commitment is further demonstrated by the establishment of the Energy Virtual One-Stop-Shop (EVOSS), which streamlined the permitting process for these crucial projects, and the establishment of a Center for AI Research to accelerate innovation and digitalization through artificial intelligence across micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The meeting with Lithuanian business leaders highlighted the Philippines’ readiness to support innovative and high-value investment projects, as well as its role as a key player in the regional and global market—all while pushing for a sustainable and future-proof economy.

“This dialogue symbolizes a meeting of minds; it represents bridging our two cultures, rich in history and ambition. It is an opportunity to build business relationships and lasting friendships that transcend geographical and economic boundaries,” said Secretary Pascual. ♦

Date of release: 25 April 2024