The Philippines and Indonesia have pledged to deepen ties to boost their copper industries, according to the Trade department.

Officials from both countries met virtually on Jan. 14 to exchange information, share good practices, and present investment opportunities and areas for collaboration in the sector, the Philippine Trade department said in a statement on Friday.

During the meeting, Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investments (BoI) Managing Head Ceferino S. Rodolfo said Indonesia could help the Philippines boost its copper production, transport and storage and marketing.

BoI Executive Director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa said the two countries can collaborate to boost their copper industries and improve their integration in global value chains. “This will only be one of the many bilateral initiatives for the copper industry.”

The BoI said Indonesian officials led by Randi Anwar, director of its Investment Coordinating Board, Ministry of Energy Director General Muhammad Wafid and Ministry of Industry’s acting head Bimo Pratomo “welcomed future collaboration and cooperation activities on the copper/mining industry to help each sides’ downstream copper industries.”

The BoI recently launched the Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone master development plan that will be anchored on the copper industry and other allied industries such as iron and steel and shipbuilding.

The agency said the copper industry is one of its priority sectors for investment promotion because it forms part of the country’s recovery plan.

Philex Mining Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Eulalio B. Austin, Jr., who also attended the meeting, said pipeline copper projects that require huge capital investments include the Silangan project in Surigao del Norte, Tampakan project in South Cotabato and Kingking project in Compostela Valley.

These projects could yield “economic progress not only for Mindanao but the country in general,” the BoI said. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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Aquilino Managbanag

By Aquilino Managbanag

Aquilino Managbanag EXPERIENCE: Four years at The Asian Pacific Post, a weekly Canadian newspaper founded in 1993 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The newspaper specialized in reporting Asian issues, and has a readership of 160,000. It has a sister publication in The South Asian Post. EDUCATION: University of Santo Tomas – Manila -- The private Roman Catholic research university is Asia’s oldest existing university. The university takes pride in keeping the Catholic faith and beliefs prominent while holding true to its centuries-old tradition of academic excellence.