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The Manila Times


PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s participation in the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting resulted in more than $672 million in investment pledges from various sectors, Malacañang reported on Monday. The investments include $400 million for the telecommunications sector; $250 million for semiconductor and electronics; $20 million in pharmaceutical and health care; $2 million for artificial intelligence (AI) for weather forecasting; and $0.3 million in renewable energy. Marcos was also able to lock in commitments in technological advancements across key priority sectors in the Philippines, which include the deployment of the first two Internet MicroGEO satellites dedicated to the Philippines. The Department of Science and Technology and the US-based company, Atmo, have signed an agreement to develop Asia’s largest AI-driven weather forecasting program for the Philippines. The President likewise initiated discussion for US companies to invest $1 billion for the Philippine semiconductor industry. The Philippines and the United States have also agreed to work toward strengthening the Philippines’ semiconductor supply chain. Marcos earlier maintained that the Philippines is ready to take off as the leading investment hub in Asia. “With a solid reform agenda and unabating growth amid headwinds, the Philippines is ready to take off as a leading investment hub in Asia. A wealth of opportunity awaits you in the Philippines, and we are ready to explore new horizons with your investments in the coming years,” he noted during the Philippine Economic Briefing held in San Francisco. He said the young and talented Filipino workforce will help in enticing investors. “Because of our young workforce, we excel in tech. Technology is easy for us with the talent that we already have in the Philippines. We just need a little more upskilling, and we will already be at the forefront of this technology,” he said in a separate roundtable with the media delegation. “So that’s what we were able to explore, and it just — it goes beyond just the application of technologies. It’s also how to open the markets to the different elements of the technology — the tech industry, such as the experts, the engineers, the coders, all of that,” he added.