• President back from US with ‘good news’


    PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd concluded his two-week European and US trips on Thursday and brought home a lot of “good news,” Malacañang deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Thursday.

    The President arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport last night.
    “We expect a lot of good news from the trip,” Valte told reporters.

    Besides getting the support of European countries to the Philippines’ stand on its dispute with China on the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Aquino secured at least $2.3 billion in committed and prospective investments from his European trip alone.

    The President first flew to Spain for the first leg of his European visit on April 14. He ended the tour around the continent on September 20 in Berlin, Germany. He also visited Belgium and France.

    His European trip yielded around $2.3 billion in investments from 19 companies. Of the amount, $908 million has been committed while $1.47 billion is prospective.

    After Germany, Aquino and his delegation proceeded to Boston, Massachusetts, for the first stop of his working visit to three key US cities.

    No one from the Palace could quantify how much worth of investments the President was able to secure from his US trip.

    Valte said there would be more prospective investors who will be “profiling” the Philippines as an investment site.

    “[Investors] would study the climate so on and so forth, legislation that will affect your business, especially if industry specific,” she explained.

    The official said there have been companies that have shown interest to “conduct their studies and to put in their money” in the country.

    “Those are prospective. The actual commitments, those are what have been delivered to the President, which are more detailed and more concrete,” Valte added.

    Aquino’s delegation spent P31.9 million for the eight-day trip to Europe while the group spent P14.8 million, or P3.7 million a day, in his four-day US trip.

    Prior to his return flight to Manila, Aquino met with executives of big US firms in San Francisco.


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