Washington, DC – US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker is leading a major business delegation to the Philippines this week.
The mission is seen as “a concrete sign that the United States is ready to engage Manila in further market access and trade negotiations” that “reaffirms Washington’s commitment to the Philippines and the entire Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region,” said the US Embassy in Manila.
The 12-person, “CEO-level” mission consists of representatives of companies in the services, energy, consumer goods, communications, electronics and mining sectors.
Part of Secretary Pritzker’s itinerary reportedly includes meetings with President Benigno Aquino, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and other key Philippine government officials.
Pritzker has served as Secretary of Commerce for the past two years as a member of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board which formulated and evaluated economic policy.
US goods and services trade with the Philippines totaled $24 billion in 2012, according to the latest trade data available from the US Trade Representative. Exports totaled $10.6 billion; Imports totaled $13.3 billion.
In 2013, US companies invested $1.3 billion in the country, while the US ranked as the Philippines’ third largest trading partner and second largest global export market.