11 March 2024 (Monday) 9:40-9:45 AM | Malacañang Palace

Secretary Gina M. Raimondo of the United States Department of Commerce (DoC); Ambassador MaryKay L. Carlson of the U.S. Embassy-Manila; Mr. Luis Jimenez, DoC Chief of Staff; Edward Dean, DoC Counselor; Ms. Pamela Phan, DoC Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia; Admiral John C. Aquilino, Commander of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; colleagues in Philippine government service; ladies and gentlemen—good morning.

With the utmost enthusiasm, we extend a heartfelt welcome to the delegates of the U.S. Presidential Trade and Investment Mission (PTIM) here in the Philippines. This mission is a direct result of the expanded bilateral meeting between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and President Joe Biden held at the White House in May last year. It underscores the deep and enduring ties that bind our nations.

Our alliance, deeply rooted in a shared history and mutual respect, sets the stage for today’s discussion. The United States is our third-largest trade partner, with exchanges totaling approximately $20 billion last year. The U.S. is our largest export market, with sales reaching nearly $12 billion, and our fifth largest import source, with purchases valued at $8.4 billion. These figures indicate substantial opportunities to enhance our trade partnership further.

Over the last five years, the U.S. has consistently been a top investor in our country, contributing significantly to our foreign direct investment inflows. This year alone, the U.S. has become our fourth most significant source of FDI, infusing over

$110 million into our economy. With U.S. trade and investment this time, we look forward to a steadier, more consistent FDI flow from the U.S.

We are particularly eager to welcome increased U.S. investment in pivotal areas that support our priorities, such as clean energy transition, critical mineral processing, food security, innovation-led economy, digital transformation, supply chain resilience, and greater participation in global supply chains.

Hence, this morning’s discussion will focus on addressing the challenges in our processes—separately and together. We want to create a conducive business environment for U.S.-based companies in the Philippines and vice versa.

We also seek to create an interoperable system to strengthen supply chain resilience. We have discussed this at the American-led initiative, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

In light of the global climate imperative, the Philippines is poised to play a vital, potentially indispensable role in safeguarding the most vulnerable industries. Our supply chain touches upon critical sectors, including those of critical minerals, semiconductors, and batteries, to name a few.

We are confident that our discussions will result in actionable measures. This mission serves as a platform to align our efforts and capitalize on our nations’ economic successes. Further, this mission transcends traditional diplomatic missions to propel us toward stronger economic ties and shared prosperity. We want to widen the avenues for more U.S. businesses to enter and thrive in the Philippines.

As we often acknowledge in diplomacy, bolstering trade and investment relations is vital to strengthening alliances. A stronger partnership between the U.S. and the Philippines cements our position as an economic force. This position benefits our country and fortifies our standing as a staunch ally of the United States.

So, again, let me invite everyone on this mission to support the Philippines in achieving three (3) critical goals: enhanced integration into global value chains, attracting more FDIs, and maintaining our robust economic expansion. Together, let’s make all these happen in the Philippines!

Now, let us warmly welcome Secretary Raimondo of the U.S. Department of Commerce as she gives her opening remarks.

Thank you at maligayang pagdating sa Pilipinas!

Date of release: 11 March 2024