German companies pitched on mineral processing ventures

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said German companies are exploring opportunities to invest in minerals processing operations in the Philippines.

“Germany has consistently ranked as a top trade and investment partner, and 2023 was a record-breaking year,” Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said in a statement Wednesday.

“Foreign direct investment from Germany soared to $149.89 million, the highest since 2005. This momentum continued with Germany emerging as the leading source of foreign-approved investments in 2023,” he added.

At the 2nd Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting on March 27, the two sides also discussed prospects for collaboration in manufacturing and industrial services, energy, infrastructure, and information technology-business process management (IT-BPM).

“Both sides identified opportunities to expand bilateral cooperation, particularly in minerals processing and investment financing,” the DTI said.

Board of Investments Director Raquel B. Echague and Bernardo V. Bitanga, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau’s metallurgical technology division chief, briefed the joint commission on prospects for minerals processing in the Philippines.

“They also proposed cooperation projects such as technical assistance for establishing an iron-making facility,” the DTI said.

Stefan Wenzel, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Parliamentary State Secretary, said Germany is looking at diversifying its supply chains and views the Philippines as a possible partner.

The DTI, quoting Mr. Wenzel said, that: “global developments have made Germany aware of the vulnerability of international supply chains.”

“He expressed the German Federal government’s intention to diversify and reduce one-sided dependencies, which has led Germany to view the Philippines as a promising partner,” the DTI added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Energy (DoE) invited German companies to explore more opportunities in the  renewable energy industry and to establish manufacturing plants for RE components.

“The Director of the Energy Policy and Planning Bureau, Michael O. Sinocruz, said agencies are focused on how to improve the permitting process, grid connection, ports and other matters related to offshore wind projects,” the DTI said.

The JEC also led to a signing of a memorandum of understanding between Philippine Constructors Association, Inc. and BFW Construction Training Institute NRW, which was represented by the German–Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (GPCCI), to establish a German Dual-Training System in the Philippines.

GPCCI President Stefan Schmitz said that the second JEC session shows the “enduring and robust bilateral trade and economic relationship between the Philippines and Germany.”

“The visit of  State Secretary Wenzel shows a shared commitment to further strengthen the partnership between the two nations, building on the momentum established by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s visit earlier this month,” he added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile