By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
MANILA – The USD22.8-billion investment pledges President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. secured in his three-day state visit to China from Jan. 3 to 5 are expected to generate thousands of jobs and allow the transfer of technology to the country.
“It’s certainly going to produce many, many jobs, when the investments come into play, when they start their operations,” the President said in a media interview in Beijing.
“Mag-uumpisa pa ‘yan sa (That will start in) training… capacity building— doon sa magiging empleyado nila (of their future employees) … that will be starting very soon,” Marcos added.
Chinese investors have recently pledged USD22.8 billion in investment, which includes USD1.72 billion for agribusiness, USD13.76 billion for renewable energy and USD7.32 billion for strategic monitoring (electric vehicle, mineral processing), according to Malacañang.
“Some of these investments have already started their construction, have already started opening their offices, all of that,” President Marcos said.
With relatively new areas in the mix, such as mineral processing as well as battery and electric vehicle production, Marcos said it is for the country to further show potential investors that the Philippines is a good investment destination.
Marcos also mentioned the significance of the transfer of technology and minimizing the repatriation of profits.
“So that’s what we are looking for now. To make sure that these investments not only provide jobs for the local economy, but there’s also a transfer of technology that the repatriation of profits are minimized and the value added is left in the Philippines,” he said.
In a separate forum on Saturday, Philippine Ambassador to China Jaime FlorCruz said the agreement between SteelAsia and Baowu Steel alone would bring in USD1.5 billion to USD2 billion investment to the country and create 2,000 to 3,000 jobs.
FlorCruz said various Chinese companies are particularly interested to bring in their knowledge and technology on AI (artificial intelligence) and data cloud computing to the country.
He said these firms are willing to train and upskill young Filipinos and give them the option to work with them or other companies.
“[I]to po ay umpisa pa lang. Hindi po ito ang end all ng ating relasyon, trade or commercial relation to China; this is the beginning (This is only the start, it’s not the end all of our trade or commercial relations with China; this is the beginning),” FlorCruz said.
“Marami pa pong potential projects na pwede nating pag-aralan at siguro i-pursue. So iyong 22 billion-pledge (iyan ay) umpisa sa maaari pang makuha nating mga benefits (There are more potential projects that we can study and pursue. So the USD22 billion pledge, that’s just among the benefits that we could get from this),” he added. (PNA)