PHL has been appointed to receive a grant to process nickel-ore-DTI

The Philippines is about to receive a grant that includes nickel ore processing through a partnership with a US company that holds patents in battery manufacturing, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

DTI said the company supplies the US military and critical industries including high-volume data centers, renewable energy projects, and long-haul trucking companies. However, the US company did not specify.

The agency noted that the Philippines could be a “vital partner” for important minerals not only as exporters of raw minerals but as processors and producers of semi-finished and finished products.

Commerce Minister Alfredo E. Pascual said that while the Philippines is the largest supplier of nickel ore, he said Manila was now keen to add value to its mineral resources.

In a conference call with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo ahead of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) ministerial meeting on September 2, Pascual made investments that would increase the country’s participation in the value chains of high-value, critical products.

He thanked President of Commerce Raimondo for facilitating USTADA grants, which he said could be “replicated and expanded” through the IPEF.

Apart from the grant for nickel ore processing, the Department of Commerce indicated that the Philippines is preparing to receive a grant to study the feasibility of the country’s first offshore wind farm.

“U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced a grant for a feasibility study for the first offshore wind farm in the Philippines and cited this as an indication of the U.S. vision of the IPEF,” the Department of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.

According to the World Bank, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the World Bank Group, funded by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), launched the Philippines’ first offshore wind energy roadmap on April 20, which said: Identify potential and tangible next steps for developing a robust industry Offshore Wind Energy in the Philippines”.

Pascual also welcomed Raimondo’s IPEF skills improvement initiative, where DTI said 14 of the largest US digital companies such as Apple, American Towers and Amazon will provide digital skills training for 7 million women and girls in IPEF’s least developed participating countries, including Filipinos .

The Philippines has also expressed interest in knowledge-sharing platforms aimed at developing business-leading micro, small and medium ecosystems by leveraging the carbon credit market and green financing tools, the DTI said.

DTI said Manila supports “green corridors” and other investment facilitation for current and future grants earmarked to create private cross-border joint venture partnerships in the region.

During the ministerial meeting, the Philippines referred to the discussions during the conference call and raised the lack of a market access component.

Given that legislation and policy measures restrict market access, “the United States could view the IPEF as a means to provide preferential treatment or equitable access to trade to partner countries.”

DTI suggested that this assistance might come in the form of grants, subsidies or procurement opportunities that support or complement the industry development initiatives of IPEF partner developing countries.

DTI also noted that by pursuing these matters, partners are further motivated towards collective action to build and sustain strong investment environments that contribute to increased economic opportunity and competitiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

IPEF’s partners include India, the United States, Australia, Brunei, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Along with other framework partners, the Philippines endorsed ministerial statements on trade, supply chains, a clean economy and a fair economy at the conclusion of the first formal ministerial meeting on September 9.

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