Marcos eyes Clark as industrial center

‘I look forward to continuing (the bilateral relationship). I’m confident… although there’s already a [great deal] that we’re doing in many areas.’
Marcos eyes Clark as industrial center

SINGAPORE — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Friday the Philippine government wants to develop New Clark City as an industrial center with facilities for manufacturing, semiconductor assembly, businesses, and green minerals processing.

Marcos said this in his bilateral meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong at The Istana, the Presidential Palace here, as both leaders sought to explore new partnerships to adapt to a changing world.

In their meeting, Marcos told Wong that Singapore is one of the top sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Philippines.

Government data showed that Singapore was the Philippines’ 8th largest trading partner, 6th export market (out of 205), and 7th import supplier (out of 221). In the same period, exports and imports were valued at $3.53 billion and $7.09 billion, respectively.

The Philippines recorded a trade deficit of $3.57 billion.

On the other hand, Singapore was the country’s largest source of approved investments, posting US$1.628 billion in 2021 and US$2.398 billion in 2022.

Based on preliminary figures in 2023, Singapore ranked as the fourth source of approved investments amounting to US$674.40 million.

Marcos said he “was glad” to hear Wong say New Clark City, a part of the Luzon corridor, is gaining recognition among investors.

Marcos and Wong agreed on Friday to strengthen the bilateral relations and continue bilateral ties since there’s a great deal that the two nations are doing in many areas.

Work for partnership

“I look forward to continuing (the bilateral relationship). I’m confident… although there’s already a [great deal] that we’re doing in many areas,” Marcos told Wong.

“We have really laid down for the last (five) years (the) formal and official relationship but as in all other ASEAN member — for Asian countries in general and I think that is why (it’s) easy for us to work together to make a partnership,” Marcos added.

For his part, Wong said there is very strong cooperation and positive momentum in the relationship between the two countries.

“There is also a strong positive momentum in our relationship [in] business, and there’s growing confidence in the prospects on the [Philippine] economy,” he said.

“So, many different projects are taking place, including in New Clark City and others, and I’m sure there is interest among investors and businesses to invest in your country,” he said.

Wong also mentioned the good people-to-people exchanges, with more than 200,000 Filipinos living and working in Singapore.

Wong appreciated their contributions to the Singapore economy and made a commitment to protect and ensure their health and well-being.

Wong, 51, assumed office last May 15, marking the third handover of leadership in the country’s 59-year history. He replaced Lee Hsien Loong, who led the country for 20 years.

The Philippines and Singapore established diplomatic relations on 16 May 1969. In 2019, the two countries celebrated the 50th anniversary or Golden Jubilee of their diplomatic ties, which was highlighted by the state visit to the Philippines of Singapore President Halimah Yacob on 9-12 September 2019.

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