MANILA, Sept 10 (Mabuhay) — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. on Thursday invited the United States-Asean Business Council (USABC) to resume business missions to the Philippines as soon as possible to help jumpstart the country’s economy.

The top diplomat said investments to the Philippines will “effectively support the country’s post-pandemic recovery efforts”.

USABC President and CEO Ted Osius, for his part, noted that there is huge potential for growth in Southeast Asia, with US companies looking at opportunities for diversification in the region, particularly on supply chains.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington DC said Manila remains open to opportunities for collaboration in the energy, manufacturing, telecommunications, information technology, and business process management sectors, all with an eye towards sustainability.

Locsin met with Osius on Thursday during his working visit to the US to mark the two nations’ 75 years of diplomatic relations.

The two further discussed ways to expand the three-decade-old partnership between the Philippines and the USABC, while noting the latter’s role in ensuring that US businesses find a reliable trade and investment partner, and hub for their regional operations in the Philippines.

Locsin likewise underscored that President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to restore the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) puts the relationship between Washington DC and Manila back on track and restores the security balance in the Asia-Pacific region.

In turn, Osius said USABC members lauded the chief executive’s decision as it gives “fresh impetus” to further broaden the two nations’ engagement, especially in the economic sphere. (MNS)

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