The United States looks forward to closer economic cooperation with the Philippines as both countries plan for a post-pandemic future.
In an economic briefing hosted by the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. on Thursday night, US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava said the two nations could start working on new areas of cooperation, including clean energy, information technology, and supply chain resilience.
On energy, the US would start by facilitating the long-term transition away from fossil fuel, Variava said as she recognized the importance of affordable, accessible, and sustainable sources of clean energy.
Variava said this would particularly benefit the climate-vulnerable countries, including the Philippines.
The Embassy is likewise ready to connect US and Philippine companies that are focused on solar, wind, and geothermal power development, among others.
Variava said the US would also work with Philippine authorities to “lay the foundations” for safe and reliable nuclear energy generation.
“As we look ahead toward the post-pandemic global economy, our continued partnership on a range of economic issues would become increasingly important. We look forward to engaging our partners in the Philippines to strengthen this collaboration,” she said.
Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez, for his part, said Manila would continue to pursue its current priorities on climate change and clean energy transition, including enhancing its participation in the global supply chain and improving its digital economy environment.
“We are seeking engagements with the United States on these economic priorities that will help transform the economy as these sectors are expected to grow in the coming years,” he said.
“The United States has also signified its willingness to assist the Philippines in pursuing its energy transition from coal to clean energy, including nuclear energy,” he added.
Almost two years into the pandemic, Romualdez noted that the Philippine economy is “indeed poised” for recovery.
Citing the Philippine economic team, the Filipino diplomat said the gross domestic product (GDP) would likely go back to pre-pandemic levels starting this year, supported by a strong 5.6 percent full-year GDP growth last year. (PNA)