The Philippines raised the potential of a joint nickel and copper collaboration with Indonesia to facilitate the transition to green technologies for sustainable future.
Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual raised this potential at the Joint Philippines-Indonesia Roundtable Meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 10, in Makati in time for the visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo in the country. The joint roundtable meeting was participated in by Indonesia Ambassador Agus Widjojo and members of the Indonesian and the Philippine business community.
“Our nations are both rich in nickel and copper—vital for green technologies such as electric vehicles. By leveraging these resources and close collaboration, we can facilitate a transition towards a sustainable, low-carbon economy,” said Pascual.
Both Philippines and Indonesia are nickel producers. The Philippines though is still looking for potential investors to engage in the processing of locally mined nickel ore to be able to participate in the global value chain for electric vehicles.
Pascual stressed that Indonesian investors can benefit from the recently issued Executive Order No. 18 last October 2023 to expedite, streamline, and automate government processes for investments in strategic sectors, such as processing critical minerals like copper and nickel.
Aside from nickel processing, Pascual also drew attention to the untapped trade potential between the two countries, particularly in facilitating the flow of Filipino goods into the Indonesian markets for halal. “We can make this happen through deepened cooperation on Halal mutual based on a recognition agreement (MRA) between our nations,” said Pascual.
The MRA, he said, is aligned with Indonesia’s goal to enhance regional connectivity, catalyzing the flow of goods and invigorating the trading routes between the Philippines and Indonesia.
The realm of services trade stands as another fertile ground for mutual enrichment between the two nations.
Following the 2022 Memorandum of Understanding on the Creative Economy, Pascual said, the time is ripe to harness its full potential. “The Philippines is eager to forge strong ties with Indonesian enterprises, sharing insights and strategies to amplify the benefits of this agreement. We see vibrant opportunities for collaboration in film, gaming, and animation sectors,” he said.
The recent enactment of the Philippines Creative Industries Development Act, he said, shows the Philippines’ dedication to nurturing the creative industries. “We invite our Indonesian counterparts to explore these avenues with us as we open our doors to expanded collaborations and operations,” he said.
“We enthusiastically invite you to ‘Make It Happen in the Philippines.’ We stand ready to embrace your investments and form strategic business alliances. Today, we are honored by the presence of our valued partners. Your commitment to advancing our trade and investment relations is deeply appreciated. Let’s construct avenues for collaboration, creating an ecosystem where enterprises prosper and communities flourish,” he added.
With close to 60% of ASEAN’s population residing within the borders of the two countries, he said, the Philippines and Indonesia hold significant roles in the region’s economic dynamics.
Indonesia stands as the Philippines’ fifth-largest trading partner, fifteenth in export destination, and second in import source.
Image source: mb.com.ph