Philippine Trade, Energy, and Science & Tech officials meet with US businesses on sustainability

Attending the roundtable discussions between Philippine officials and U.S. businesses were (from left) Verinda Fike, Regional Director of Indo-Pacific, U.S. Trade and Development Agency; Philippine Consul General in San Francisco Neil Frank R. Ferrer; Rod Hirsch, Director of the Oakland Export Assistance Center, U.S. Commercial Service; Joseph Scherer, GreenFire Energy CEO; Hollis Chin, GreenFire Energy Vice President Marketing; and Harish Chandasekar, GreenFire Energy Engineering and Project Development Head.San Francisco PCG photos

SAN FRANCISCO – The Philippines’ Secretaries of Trade and Industry and Energy and Undersecretary of Science and Technology engaged with American companies in a sustainability roundtable on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2023.

Philippine Consul General Neil Frank R. Ferrer mentioned that the Secretaries were part of the official delegation of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to the APEC Economic Leaders Week in San Francisco. The President also led the 2023 Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) in San Francisco, which had the theme, “Think Growth. Think Philippines.”

Hosted by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in Silicon Valley, in collaboration with the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco and the Oakland Export Assistance Center of the U.S. Commercial Service/U.S. Department of Commerce & Northern California District Export Council (DEC), the event focused on renewable energy, innovation, and sustainable solutions in the face of climate change.

Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual encouraged U.S. companies to invest in the Philippines, emphasizing the dual benefit of supporting the country and contributing to a sustainable future. He highlighted incentives available under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE) law and investment opportunities aligned with the Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP).

Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla acknowledged existing U.S. companies operating in the Philippines’ energy sector and noted new technologies available to harness renewable energy.

Philippine officials at the roundtable discussion included (from left) Philippine Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary Maridon Sahagun, Philippine Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla, Philippine Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual and Consul Generl Neil Ferrer.

Consul General Ferrer recognized Amber Kinetics for manufacturing flywheel batteries and establishing the world’s first flywheel innovation hub in the Philippines, in cooperation with De La Salle University. He also congratulated GreenFire Energy for receiving an Export Achievement Certificate for its U.S. Trade and Development Agency (TDA)-funded geothermal project in the Philippines.

Undersecretary Sahagun highlighted sustainability as a recurring theme in the Department of Science and Technology’s priority programs.

Rod Hirsch, Director of the Oakland Export Assistance Center, facilitated the introduction of companies interested in establishing a presence in the Philippines.

Attendees included NorCal DEC members, Fremont Vice Mayor Teresa Cox, representatives from the office of Congressman John Garamendi (CA-08), and CEOs from various sustainability-focused industries such as waste management, renewable energy, and high-tech firms with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Ms. Verinda Fike, Regional Director of Indo-Pacific, U.S. TDA was also present in the roundtable. The Port of Oakland and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program California Regional Coordinator were also represented.

Companies that participated in the roundtable included UltraScale Digital Infrastructure, Equus Computer Systems, GreenFire Energy, Amber Kinetics, Enact Systems, Inc., Lilac Solutions, Hadal, Calwave, KCCTech, LLC, Stellar3, and Ocean Power Technologies. The roundtable also saw representation from the Peralta Community College District, including Laney Community College.

(PCGSF Release)


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