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Philippines-United States economic ties enter ‘golden spot’

Amid the reinvigorated alliance between the Philippines and the United States, economic ties between the two countries have now reached a “golden spot,’’ according to New York Consul General Senen Mangalile.


“We’re really in that golden spot,” Mangalile said in a recent press briefing at the Philippine Center in New York.


This developed as Philippine companies are expanding in the US while American private equity firms and other funding institutions are on the lookout for investment opportunities in Manila.

 

Benedict Uy, trade commissioner and head of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in New York, said that a Philippine-listed manufacturing company is in the process of setting up a distribution hub in the US so that it can reach more companies across America.


“They want to be more aggressive in that, so they’re setting up their distribution center here. They’ve been working on that since last year,” Uy told visiting Filipino journalists who are part of the US State Department’s inaugural Friends, Allies, Partners program.

 

The Philippine company is engaged in the production of raw materials for a wide array of consumer products, including coconut-related products used for higher value applications such as consumer goods and personal care products such as cosmetics.

Uy, however, declined to name the company as it has not made an official announcement yet on its planned distribution hub, which may be completed as early as this year.


There are other Philippine companies that are also expanding their operations in the US including Jollibee Foods Corp., Century Pacific Food Inc. and Armscor Global Defense Inc., Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said in the same briefing.


Jollibee Foods has been aggressively expanding in North America while Century Pacific’s plant-based product unMeat has been successfully growing its presence in US groceries and supermarkets since it entered the market last year, Rodolfo said.

 

Armscor, which manufactures firearms, is not new in the US, but remains a strong presence in the American firearms industry, he also said.


Philippine startups and other local ventures, meanwhile, have caught the interest of New York-headquartered private equity firms and other funding institutions either as their potential angel investors or funders, Uy said.


“There are also a number of projects that are locally initiated and are happening in the Philippines but are getting a lot of interest from the funding institutions here in New York such as private equity firms and financial institutions. They are investing in these projects,” Uy said.


Mangalile said that the Philippines’ economic relations with the US are indeed “more open, deeper and expanded” and this is seen helping the country’s growth in the years to come.


He said President Marcos’ visit to New York in 2022 has started a string of different events that have significantly improved the relationship between the two nations, Mangalile also said.


“Some US big players have been visiting the Philippines.”


Mangalile said the present situation is ideal, compared to the previous administration when the perception was that it was not very open to deepening relations with the US.


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