The United States has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the economic resilience and supply chain diversification efforts of the Philippines. Jose Fernandez, the US Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and Environment, recently completed a 10-day trip to Viet Nam, the Philippines, and South Korea to discuss ways to strengthen economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
During his visit to the Philippines, Fernandez emphasized the unwavering support of the United States for the country’s economic resilience and supply chain diversification. He also highlighted the potential for expanding trade relations and investment opportunities in various sectors, with a particular focus on critical minerals.
Fernandez stated, “The Philippines is interested in exploring opportunities in the critical mineral sector. One of the things that we talked about is how we establish a closer, working relationship with the mineral security partnership, not just in nickel but also in cobalt and copper.”
While the US official did not specifically discuss a critical minerals agreement with the Philippines, he did engage in extensive discussions on the topic with concerned sectors in the country. Fernandez highlighted the Philippines’ significant reserves of nickel, which rank second only to Indonesia globally. This presents an opportunity for both countries to collaborate in diversifying their supply chains.
Fernandez further explained, “It’s part of diversifying our supply chains. One of those instruments is the mineral security partnership that I have spent a lot of time working on.” He mentioned that this partnership consists of 13 countries and the European Union, aiming to promote collaboration, share information, and explore investment and financing opportunities while adhering to the highest environmental, social, and governance principles.
During his discussions with colleagues and several ministries in the Philippines, Fernandez highlighted the potential of the mineral security partnership and its alignment with the country’s goals. The partnership can provide a platform for sharing knowledge, identifying investment opportunities, and promoting responsible practices in the critical mineral sector.
By focusing on critical minerals, the United States and the Philippines can strengthen their economic ties and contribute to global supply chain diversification efforts. The Philippines’ vast reserves of nickel, cobalt, and copper make it an attractive partner for the United States in this endeavor.
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, it is essential for countries to collaborate and support each other’s economic resilience. The United States’ assurance of unwavering support for the Philippines’ economic resilience and supply chain diversification is a testament to the strong bilateral relationship between the two nations.
By fostering economic cooperation and exploring opportunities in critical minerals, the United States and the Philippines can contribute to the sustainable development of their respective economies and promote stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
Source: The Manila Times