Companies in the United States seek to boost their partnerships, both economic and retail, with the Philippines due to the country’s projected growth, and that of ASEAN as a whole, during the next decade.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker was recently in a trip to Manila to meet with Philippine President Aquino and senior members of his cabinet with a goal to deepen investment ties with regional partners.
“The Asia-Pacific region will be an engine of global growth over the next decade, which will have profound impact on how and where the world does business. American firms want to be part of this solution” said Pritzker at a meeting between the Makati Business Club, the Management Association of the Philippines and the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham).
Pritzker showed data saying that 54 percent of the world’s middle class will be living in the Asia-Pacific region and will be importing more than US$10 trillion worth of goods and services by the year 2022. She also noted that over US$1 trillion in infrastructure projects will be needed in Southeast Asia to support a growing population.
Meanwhile, AmCham president Rhicke Jennings stated that the US$24 billion annual trade partnership between the United States and the Philippines is “growing with heightened interest from the American business community in these golden times in the Philippines renaissance.”.
AES Corp. (NYSE: AES), an American energy firm, plans to be one of the largest investors in the Philippines and seeks to invest US$2 billion to increase the capacity of its power production and storage.
Andreas Gluski, the company’s CEO, said that AES Corporation is looking to invest around $1.2 billion for a 1,200-megawatt power plant in Masinloc, Zambales in addition to storage facilities and hiring several thousand employees.
The current economic growth of the Philippines, as well as predicted growth of 6%, requires an additional 2,500 megawatts of power by 2017 and promoted AES to move its regional headquarters from Singapore to Manila, according to Gluski.
Another large investor, U.S. firm Pangea Motors, recently made an import order for 10,000 electric jeepneys from Pasang Masda under a joint venture. Pritzker said that the deal will not only make profit, but create jobs in both the United States and the Philippines. The units are designed in the U.S. and manufactured in the Philippines.