President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Friday confirmed that the chairman of Walt Disney International is set to visit the Philippines this year as the company expressed its interest in doing business in the country.
In his arrival speech after attending a working visit to the US, Aquino said that Walt Disney is looking to tap into more Filipino creative talents in its future ventures and is one of the three companies that prefer the Philippines as an investment venue.
Walt Disney International is one of the three Los Angeles-based companies that the President visited in the city on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).
The visit came after he attended the two-day summit between US President Barack Obama and Southeast Asian leaders at the Sunnylands estate in Rancho Mirage in California.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. earlier said Walt Disney Chairman Andy Bird told Aquino that the company is open to tapping into the talent pool of Filipinos.
Among the Filipinos who have worked for Disney are Ronnie del Carmen, co-director of the movie “Inside Out;” Bobby Pontillas, an animator in the movie “Frozen;” Armand Serrano, visual development artist who worked on “Mulan,” “Tarzan” and “Big Hero 6,” among others; and Gini Santos, an animator for “The Incredibles.”
Aquino also met with top executives of Western Digital Corp. (WDC), a data storage firm, and Aecom (Architecture, Engineering, Consulting, Operations and Maintenance), a provider of professional technical and management support services.
The President said Western Digital has indicated its plan to expand its operations in the country while the AECOM is expected to be “a partner in capacity-building.”
During his meeting with WDC, Coloma said Aquino thanked the firm’s executives for employing more than 10,000 Filipinos for its Philippine operations.
The WDC chief executive officer, Stephen Milligan, told the President that the firm had been a highly satisfied locater in the Philippines’ export zones since 1994.
Milligan cited the support provided by the Philippine Export Zone Authority headed by Director General Lilia de Lima.
AECOM pledged to continue to participate in large infrastructure projects.
The company employs 1,230 Filipinos in its global operations and more than 1,000 in its operations in the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and the Philippines.
AECOM is involved in the Mactan-Cebu International Airport passenger terminal building, a public-private partnership project, as concept designer; the Burgos wind and solar power project in Ilocos Norte province, the biggest wind power facility in Southeast Asia; and the Chevron Pandacan terminal decommissioning project.