MANILA – Large investment opportunities expected to increase trading between the Philippines and the United States have been cited as the reason for the opening of a United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) office here within this quarter.
“To meet the demands of the Philippine market and in recognition of the potential in the Philippine economy, USTDA is opening an office in Manila,” US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson said during the Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) event in Makati City on Thursday.
She said the agency will conduct feasibility studies that “will focus on supply chains, clean energy, infrastructure and telecommunications.”
In an interview with journalists, Carlson said results of the feasibility studies can be used both by the government and the private sector to help them determine where the interests of US investors are in the Philippines and where matches can be made.
She said not all US Embassies around the world have USTDA offices and the one to be opened in the Philippines “is really based on what we see as great promise between the investment opportunities and trade opportunities between the United States and the Philippines.”
The US is one of the Philippines’ top three trading partners while the country is the US’ 31st largest goods trading partner.
Carlson is optimistic regarding the increase in investment opportunities between the US and the Philippines within the Indo-Pacific area due also to the people-to-people ties.
“People-to-people ties are really a strong foundation and a springboard for those types of investments and trade opportunities not just to recover from the pandemic but as I’ve heard President (Ferdinand R.) Marcos said to really accelerate and go beyond simple recovery, to revitalize and accelerate in 2023 and beyond,” she said.
Carlson disclosed that USTDA has signed with Bell Labs, Nokia USA, and NOW Telecom a USD1.5-million letter of intent for the Philippines on Thursday.