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US companies to invest over $1b in Philippines

The investments will span solar energy, electric vehicles, and digitisation

US companies to invest over $1b in Philippines

US companies are set to announce investments amounting to more than $1 billion in the Philippines, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said during an official visit to Manila on Monday.

Raimondo is heading a two-day trade and investment mission, the first of its kind for the Philippines. The delegation includes executives from 22 companies including United Airlines , Alphabet’s Google, Visa, KKR Asia Pacific and Microsoft.

The investments will span areas like solar energy, electric vehicles and digitisation, she said.

United said last week it would launch new flights from Tokyo-Narita to Cebu, Philippines starting July 31.

U.S. efforts to deepen economic ties with the Philippines come in tandem with increased cooperation in defence. Both U.S.

President Joe Biden and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr are keen to counter what they see as aggressive actions by China in the South China Sea and near Taiwan.

Speaking at a joint briefing with Philippine officials after meeting with Marcos at the presidential palace, Raimondo said Washington’s commitment to expanding trade and investment in the Philippines extends to the larger Indo-Pacific region through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework - a 14-nation U.S.-led group.

Raimondo reiterated the United States has no intention of “decoupling” from China but it would not be allowed access to Washington’s advanced technology.

“My job is to protect the American people and to make sure that our most sophisticated technology, including semiconductor technology, artificial intelligence technology that we have and China doesn’t have, that they can’t access it and use it to enable the Chinese military,” Raimondo said.

She also reaffirmed the United States’ alliance with the Philippines, calling it “ironclad”.

The Philippines has a 73-year-old mutual defence treaty with the U.S., making it Washington’s oldest treaty ally in the Asia-Pacific region.

After her Manila visit, Raimondo will travel to Thailand for two days of meetings. She will lead members of the U.S.

President’s Export Council to identify opportunities for the two countries to strengthen cooperation in areas such as manufacturing and supply chain resiliency.

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