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US to extend more economic assistance to PH

AS THE US and the Philippines mark their 75 years of diplomatic relations, the US government pledged to continue extending economic assistance to the Philippines in the form of grants for infrastructure projects, investment insurance coverage, technical and sustainability assistance.

Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez cited strong economic ties between the two allies at the Virtual Economic Briefing entitled, “PH-US at 75: Strengthening Ties through Sustainable Recovery”, organized by the Philippine Embassy in Washington.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has committed additional funds to the Philippines’ vaccine program as President Duterte’s chief economic manger supported an appeal to nations with excess vaccine supplies to release them as soon as possible 

Speaking before senior executives of American and Philippine companies on Wednesday, April 15, Gloria Steele, USAID acting administrator said the US development agency will provide additional $3.5 million to support the country’s delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.

Javiera Gallardo, Director for Southeast Asia program at the US Chamber of Commerce Country lead for the Philippines, pointed out that the Philippines has 19 percent tariff advantage than the Chinese goods, which are slapped with 25 percent retaliatory tariff

US funding Development Finance Corp. (DFC) COO David Marchick also urged the private sector businesses to tap their huge fund of $60 billion of investment capacity to invest, lend and provide insurance to private sector companies in developing countries. Currently, the US agency DFC has $33 portfolio of investments in 106 countries.

Under its new and expanded mandate, DFC has the capacity to lend more, invest in equity and provide insurance to private sector companies involved in developing countries like the Philippines in priority areas of the Biden administration such as climate, health, gender equity, telecom and internet, and inclusive growth.

He encouraged the Philippines to identify a list of projects that DFC can invest in.

Major US firms operating in the Philippines also affirmed their commitment to continue investing in the country. These include global beverage giant Coca-Cola, IBM Philippines and Flour International. From the Philippines’ businesses, PLDT, Jollibee, and Ayala Corp. also vowed continued to expand in the US market and cooperation with US businesses.