Philippines, Indonesia boost trade and economic ties, MOU signed to develop Seaweeds Industry

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Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) Undersecretary for industry policy group Adrian Cristobal Jr. (right) and Indonesian Trade Vice Minister Bayu Krisnamurthi (left) recently witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the countries’ lead seaweeds organizations Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines and the Asosiasi Rumput Laut Indonesia. The MOU will allow the country’s industry players to have a stable seaweed supply to be used for the production of carrageenan. Undersecretary Cristobal Jr. said the MOU is a result of continuing discussions between the Philippines and Indonesia to expand trade relations and investment. “We are forging deeper economic ties between the two countries by significant exploring other avenues for complementation and collaboration. We have made progress in the areas of sea connectivity, and exploring mining and palm oil,” he said. (DTI-PRU)

BOI strengthens Inclusive Growth Agenda

The Board of Investments (BOI) is hosting a conference for its registered enterprises to promote " Inclusive Business" models that would support the country's inclusive growth strategies.

The forum dubbed "Inclusive Growth Through Inclusive Business" will be the tenth such activity under the Trade and Industry Development Updates (TID Updates) and is the main activity of the BOI's 47th Anniversary this September.

Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, a staunch advocate of Inclusive Business, will be the Guest of Honor today at the Intercontinental Manila Hotel. The senator will be welcomed by the BOI Managing Head Adrian S. Cristobal Jr. and BOI Governors Lucita P. Reyes and Oliver B. Butalid. Other guests include Dr. Armin Bauer, Principal Economist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), top officers of the top officers of the PHINMA Property Holdings, Kennemer Foods International and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).

The forum to be participated in by BOI registered firms is expected to discuss the role of inclusive business in nation-building and economic development. IB, as defined by ADB, are commercially viable profit-making private companies whose core business solutions are designed to address social issues for the poor and vulnerable by engaging them as a producer, employee, distributor or consumer of goods and services. The aim of the program is poverty alleviation with the improvement of their living standards.

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PHL, Vietnam talks on expanding market access

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Vietnam’s Ministry of Trade Vice Minister Tran Tuan Anh (right) arrived this week to meet with trade officials from the Philippines. Inclined at actively engaging key ASEAN partners to provide greater access for the country’s exporters and SMEs, Department of Trade & Industry Undersecretary for industry policy group Adrian Cristobal Jr. (left) said the dialogue with Vietnam specifically focused on expanding market access particularly for flour and processed fish. In a courtesy call on September 16, 2014, Vice Minister Tran underscored the need to enhance trade, investments and economic cooperation between the two countries. He welcomed the prospect of increased trade relations with the Philippines. He said that Vietnam is interested in importing more industrial products from the Philippines, including electronics, chemicals, and fertilizers. The Vietnam visit also aims to promote exports of rice, textile garments, seafoods and agricultural products to the Philippines.

In Philippines, Green City Is Planned for Former U.S. Base

Man in Charge of Rejuvenating Site of Clark Air Base Seeks Investors

green city A rendering of the planned Clark Green City. Bases Conversion & Development A Bases Conversion & Development A

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Philippines—On land that once belonged to the largest American military base outside the U.S., Arnel Casanova envisages not just a new city, but a new type of city for the Philippines.

Mr. Casanova, president of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, the agency charged with regenerating the vast estates left behind by the U.S. military when it left the nation in the early 1990s, is trying to create a blueprint for modern, sustainable development in a country whose urban centers are polluted, congested and sprawling out of control.

Clark Green City—his proposed Philippine city of the future—is that blueprint. The Philippine government and Congress both have given Mr. Casanova the go-ahead to begin work on the Green City on land that once belonged to the U.S. Air Force's Clark Air Base, and which the Bases Conversion and Development Authority now runs.

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SBMA to apply reduced port fees for 6 months

MANILA, Philippines–The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) will further cut its port fees starting Oct. 1 to attract more firms to use the Subic port, which is seen to result in revenue losses of $10 million to $15 million for the agency.

These losses represented the difference between the existing harbor and berthing fees and the reduced rates that will be implemented over a six-month period, starting next month, the SBMA said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We hope to recoup the losses in the long run, as we are also doing this to encourage new lines to come over, as well as to show our appreciation to existing shipping lines that had stuck with Subic in all its lean years,” aid SBMA Chair Roberto Garcia.

The rate reduction is expected to help establish Subic as an alternative port together with Batangas. This is seen to help ease the congestion at the Port of Manila.

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