Australian businesses encouraged to invest in the Philippines

Front row L to R: Cyclion Pty Ltd Director Amanda Hu, Bureau of International Trade Relations Director Ms. Marie Sherylyn Aquia, Philippine Honorary Consul in Adelaide Carmen Garcia, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, Consul General of the Philippine Consulate General in Melbourne Maria Lourdes Salcedo, Philippines Australia Business Council (PABC) Past Chair Ms. Violy Searby, and Consul Commercial Alma Argayoso

Adelaide, Australia — On October 9, 2023, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual encouraged Australian firms to seize the stronger economic cooperation between the Philippines and Australia during the Business Roundtable Meeting, held in Adelaide, Australia. The DTI chief highlighted the Philippines’ growing economy and conducive business environment, making it a strategic location for investments with its young population, skilled workforce, and sizeable consumer market.

Secretary Pascual underscored, “Australia’s focus on Southeast Asia aligns with the Philippines’ robust macroeconomic fundamentals, improved governance, political stability, and commitment to a competitive, transparent, and enabling business environment. Australia and the Philippines naturally complement each other, and I encourage the private sector to seize these synergies.”

L to R: Consul General of the Philippine Consulate General in Melbourne Maria Lourdes Salcedo, H. E. Ma. Hellen De La Vega, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual, Bureau of International Trade Relations Director Ms. Marie Sherylyn Aquia, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. Regional Manager for Asia Jeff Pearman

During the discussion, the trade and industry chief highlighted the private sector’s significant contribution to the DTI’s pursuit of an enhanced Philippine economic environment that is science, technology, and innovation (STI)-driven. He also cited the remarkable partnerships with the private sector which paved the way for more robust trade and investment policies between both nations.

The DTI Secretary also expressed the Philippines’ commitment to deepening collaboration across various areas of mutual interest, such as agriculture, education, critical minerals, and clean energy.

He stressed, “Recently, we achieved a significant milestone by elevating our relationship from a comprehensive to a strategic partnership by signing the Joint Declaration. This shift not only broadens our strategic cooperation but also enhances trade and investment between our nations.”

Front row L to R: Cyclion Pty Ltd Founder and CEO Philip Major and DTI Secretary Fred Pascual; (back) Philippine Ambassador to Australia, H. E. Ma. Hellen De La Vega and Australia Philippines Business Council (APBC) President Mr. Rafael Toda

During the business roundtable, the Secretary welcomed potential investments and partnerships from Australian firms. The DTI chief also witnessed the signing of two Letters of Intent and one MOU on investments and collaboration on research and investments.

The business agreements signed include a potential equity and/or project investment by the National Development Company with green energy company Cyclion Pty Ltd to treat Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and convert it to useful fuel or electricity. Another agreement signed was a research collaboration between Algae Harvest Pty Ltd, a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of Murdoch University and Cyclion Pty Ltd. The collaboration aims to research new ways of using algae to turn waste into high-value products. This research will be applied to Cyclion’s projects in the Philippines.

Back row L to R: DTI Secretary Fred Pascual and Philippine Ambassador to Australia, H. E. Ma. Hellen De La Vega; (front) Kaizen ANZ Pty Ltd Director Sabas “Jun” Capili and Southern Infrastructure Pty Ltd Managing Director Paul Watson

The Secretary also witnessed a Letter of Intent by Southern Infrastructure Pty Ltd to develop a thorium-fueled reactor to deliver a safe, sustainable and green (C02=0) base load energy to contribute to the country’s renewable energy targets.

Business leaders from the Australia Hellen De La Vega and Consul General Lourdes Salcedo of the Philippine Consulate General in Melbourne.

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