Friday, February 23

PBBM secures billions worth of investment deals from top European firms


MANILA (December 15)—President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. scored big in his meetings with various European companies, securing billions worth of investment pledges on Wednesday.

The President, who is on the final day of his visit to Brussels for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-European Union (ASEAN-EU) commemorative summit, sat down with European companies Unilever, Ocea, Acciona, and SEMMARIS to discuss current investments and expansion plans in the Philippines.

The chief executive has secured a P4.7 billion investment from multinational consumer goods company Unilever as the firm gears towards automating and digitalizing its operations in the Philippines.

Unilever officials, led by its global business group president Matt Close, said the multibillion-peso investment shows their commitment to the Philippines, which they consider one of Unilever’s most important locations for investments.

Meanwhile, French shipbuilding firm OCEA S.A. renewed its commitment to its planned P1.5-billion shipyard development in the Philippines.

According to the French firm, the planned investment will create 500 to 600 direct and indirect jobs in the Philippines, as it eyes building 15 to 120-meter boats for several markets intended for maritime safety and security, transportation and fisheries.

OCEA initially made the investment pledge for a shipyard project in the Philippines during the 9th Philippine-France Joint Economic Committee (JEC) meeting held in July last year.

OCEA also made a commitment to work with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to carry out a project aimed at assisting Filipino fisherfolks to enhance their operations and promote sustainable fishing.

Acciona, another global group that develops and manages sustainable infrastructure solutions, vowed to invest in the country’s renewable energy sector, which coincides with the lifting of the 40 percent equity cap for foreign firms in renewable energy projects, particularly those for the solar and offshore wind sectors.

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Acciona officials, led by its chairman Jose Manuel Entrecanales, are also looking at making Manila its main hub in the Southeast Asian region.

French firm SEMMARIS, meanwhile, expressed its intention to develop agro-logistics in New Clark City by building a wholesale market for fresh products with an organized and efficient food supply and value chain.

Benoit Juster, SEMMARIS executive director, said the hub also seeks to promote local production with fair prices to farmers and lower prices for consumers, improve logistics and decrease traffic congestion in Manila. (OPS)