BEIJING, CHINA — On 5 January 2023, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. together with Trade and Industry Secretary Fred Pascual led the Roundtable Meeting (RTM) on Strategic Industries covering nickel processing, power batteries, electronic vehicles (EV), electronics manufacturing, and steel manufacturing. It was also attended by Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, other members of the Cabinet, and representatives of Chinese businesses.

The RTM revolved around a discussion to encourage Chinese investments in the Philippines, particularly in strategic industries in the manufacturing sector. In total, about USD7.32 billion investment pledges from Chinese companies were secured in the aforementioned sectors.

The Philippines has been the supplier of 60-70% of China’s total imports of nickel ore and concentrates. Chinese companies are also increasingly interested in the reported PH policy discussions on discouraging the export of unprocessed nickel ore.

The processing of nickel and manufacturing of battery and e-vehicles are vital to the Philippines’ economic transformation. Both sectors can create lasting impact on our country’s industrialization, economic development, clean energy future, and climate resilience”, Secretary Pascual stated.

Moreover, Secretary Pascual boasted that the Philippines now has a healthy and competitive business environment that will enable strategic and sustainable manufacturing companies to thrive. He underscored that the Philippines is a key player in the green metals sector, which are vital to the global transition to clean energy, saying that, “the Philippines has over nine million hectares of land with mineral potential, 92% of which have yet to be responsibly utilized. We also have over 450 million metric tons of nickel reserves. Our country is home to nickel mines, nickel processing plants, and copper mines. And we are keen to have investments in value-adding mineral activities.” The metals industry is vital to the Philippine economy as it provides employment opportunities to a significant portion of the population, both directly and indirectly. Further, it spurs both national and regional development as companies also invest in infrastructures and other metals processing facilities. ♦

Date of release: 06 January 2023