In photo: President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and DTI Secretary Fred Pascual

JERUDONG, BRUNEI DARUSSALAM — The Department of Trade and Industry, along with other government agencies, backed President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s efforts to pursue collaborations with Brunei’s leading oil and gas companies in the Philippines’ growing renewable energy sector.

DTI Secretary Fred Pascual supported President Marcos Jr.’s investment appeal during a meeting with executives from Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP), Brunei LNG (BLNG), TotalEnergies Brunei, Serikandi Oilfield Services, and Adinin Group of Companies, on the sidelines of presidential visit to Brunei Darussalam, May 29.

“Our country holds tremendous potential for clean energy, with abundant solar, wind, and tidal resources waiting to be harnessed. Brunei’s proven track record in energy projects positions you as a key partner in unlocking this potential. With this, we look forward to the partnerships that this meeting will forge as both of our countries take the lead in Southeast Asia’s clean energy future,” said Secretary Pascual.

The Philippines recognizes Brunei’s extensive experience in the oil and gas industry, as well as its recent efforts to diversify its energy mix through renewable energy, as outlined in Brunei Vision 2035. Brunei’s oil and gas companies with their long history of success in the sector are uniquely positioned to contribute valuable knowledge and experience to the Philippines’ renewable energy development.

On the other hand, the Philippines offers a compelling investment proposition with its abundant solar, wind, and tidal energy resources. Strengthening its investment appeal, the country gained an impressive economic growth of 5.6% last year, the fastest in Southeast Asia.

The meeting explored collaborative opportunities as the Philippines sought to learn from the experiences of Bruneian companies, following the latter’s transition to renewable energy investments. Discussions focused on key factors influencing investment decisions in renewable energy projects that allow the Philippines to optimize its approach to attract Bruneian investment.

As part of the Philippines’ ongoing efforts to push for renewable energy investments, the DTI and other government agencies have implemented policies like the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 to ease foreign equity restrictions for these projects.

The DTI also unlocked a surge in renewable energy investment through programs like the Green Lanes Initiative, which streamlined approvals and offered compelling incentives.

Meanwhile, the recent enactment of the Public-Private Partnership Code further bolstered the country’s investment climate through stronger collaboration between the public and private sectors. This accelerates infrastructure development, another key driver of economic expansion.

In addition, the 2022 Strategic Investment Priority Plan positions agriculture, fishery, forestry, and renewable energy across all of its three tiers. This presents them with significant investment opportunities through incentives under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, which offer tax breaks for up to 17 years and government support extending up to 40 years.

“The Philippines is taking a big step forward with the creation of these initiatives. By streamlining the investment process, prioritizing key sectors, and offering attractive incentives, we are sending a clear message: The Philippines is open for business and committed to sustainable economic growth. We look forward to a successful partnership with Brunei’s energy leaders,” said the trade chief. ♦

Date of release: 30 May 2024