Wednesday, November 29, 2023

US tech firms bare plans to put up, expand operations in PH

American companies, most of them coming from the technology sector, have informed the visiting delegation of Pres. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. that they intend to establish and expand their operations in the Philippines.

Photo shows US president Joe Biden and Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. during their bilateral meeting at the White House on May 2

During the one-on-one business meetings at the Blair House in the United States on Tuesday, May 2, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) secretary Fred Pascual echoed the Philippines’ readiness to do business with the United States.

Pascual discussed the priority sectors of the Philippines targeting US investments such as IT-BPM, healthcare, semiconductors, electric vehicles and electric batteries, renewable energy, and food and minerals processing.

During the meeting with Moderna, a known pharmaceutical and biotech company that plans to establish a global Shared Service Facility (SSF) for Pharmacovigilance in the Philippines, Pascual said, “The Philippines’ Health Information Management Services (HIMS), a sub-sector of IT-BPM is growing, with over 17,000 FTEs as of February 2023. Part of the advantages of the Philippines in the HIMS sector is the country’s young, tech-savvy, and English-speaking population.”

The Moderna SSF is intended to serve the entire Asia-Pacific Region and will be the only SSF of Moderna in Asia and the third in the world. It will also initially employ 50 staff at the start of its operations. 

Maxeon Solar Technologies, a manufacturer of solar cells, on the other hand, plans to bring its latest technology, Max7, to the Philippines.

“With this project, the most advanced solar cells in the world will be manufactured in the Philippines,” Pascual noted.

The Philippine delegation also met with other American companies  such as Zero Motorcycles, a high-end electric motorcycles manufacturer; Atento, a company involved in customer relationship service and business process outsourcing; and Analog Devices, a semiconductor company; and Optum (UHG), a healthcare provider in the US.

Atento has decided to set up its first call center at the Iloilo Business Park, which will employ about 1,000 workers during its first year. It will offer both voice and non-voice services to US clients and their initial investment is valued at P21.4 million.

Meanwhile, Optum will invest P800 million to set up a health information management services (HIMS) operations in Davao, which will generate 1,500 jobs.

In addition, Analog Devices will set up a research and development center and hire an additional 1,000 engineers for semiconductors.

“We are happy with the outcome as six of the companies have firm plans in the Philippines. The companies will put in billions of dollars’ worth of investments and will generate thousands of jobs for the Filipino people,” Pascual said.

US president Joe Biden, meanwhile, expressed his eagerness to strengthen economic cooperation with the Philippines during their separate bilateral meeting with Philippine officials at the White House.

The US was the country’s 5th largest source of foreign investments in 2021, especially in IT-BPM, electronics, real estate, construction, and transportation and storage sectors.


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