Marcos touts $14 billion investment pledges from ‘fruitful’ overseas trip

September 8, 2022 - 3:47 PM
Singaporean President Halimah Yacob sits next to Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during a state banquet she hosts in his honour in Singapore, in this handout image obtained by Reuters on September 7, 2022. Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) (Photo by Ngau Kai Yan/Handout via Reuters)

 Philippines leader Ferdinand Marcos Jr has touted his first overseas trip as a success that secured investment pledges of $14 billion, as the son of the country’s late ruler eyes economic gains to get his presidency off to a strong start.

During visits this week to Indonesia and Singapore, Marcos met leaders of government and commerce and declared the Philippines open for business, inviting private capital to upgrade and expand roads, airports and seaports in the archipelago of 110 million people.

Marcos, 64, who traveled with top officials of his economic team, said he received investment pledges in renewable energy, data centers, e-commerce, broadband technology, government housing and agriculture.

“This will support our country’s economic recovery efforts and create more jobs for Filipinos here in our country,” Marcos said on his return late on Thursday.

“We look forward to doing the detailed work that is necessary to bring all these proposals to fruition.”

The elder Marcos was overthrown in a 1986 uprising, ending a tumultuous two-decade rule that his son and namesake insists was a “golden era” of development for the Philippine that he intends to replicate.

Marcos Jr, wants to improve agriculture to reduce reliance on food imports and to expand the economy by as much as 8% during his six-year term and halve the poverty rate, which was 18.1% in 2021.

—Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Martin Petty