BIZ BUZZ: Another deal for the trifecta?

BIZ BUZZ: Another deal for the trifecta?

/ 02:11 AM May 07, 2024

There is another deal brewing among the country’s three largest conglomerates.

After forging a $3.3-billion deal to jointly launch the Philippines’ “first and most expansive” liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Batangas province in March, billionaires Ramon S. Ang of San Miguel Corp. (SMC), Manuel V. Pangilinan of Metro Pacific Investments Corp., and Sabin Aboitiz of Aboitiz Equity Ventures are set to seal another agreement.

READ: Three tycoons sign $3.3-billion energy deal


This time, it will be “for the protection and enhancement” of marine resources at Verde Island Passage (VIP), a strait separating the islands of Luzon and Mindoro.


Invitations sent out for the event today, May 7, at Manila Peninsula did not stipulate what the agreement would mean, only that the three tycoons would sign a memorandum of understanding “for private sector involvement in the protection and management” of the VIP.

This comes as an interesting and, quite frankly, controversial development, especially as advocates have warned that SMC’s LNG facility could bring “devastation” to the marine habitat dubbed the “Amazon of the oceans.”

Nongovernment organization Protect VIP has pointed out that Batangas, as well as marine life thriving in VIP, could fall victim to toxic air, water, and thermal pollution; potential freshwater shortages; a massive increase in shipping activities; and loss of flora and displacement of coastal communities

Let’s see if the billionaires’ deal will indeed be fruitful and helpful to the VIP. —Meg J. Adonis

PH garment exporters look to UAE

Philippine garment exporters are optimistic that a free trade agreement between the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will lead to a wider overseas market for the ailing local industry which is currently beset by falling overseas orders.

Robert M. Young, president of the export-oriented group Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines (FOBAP) told Biz Buzz they are hopeful they could corner a portion of the Middle Eastern country’s market for high-end, luxury textile goods.


READ: Garment exporters await better 2024

“The higher-end and branded garments will have a bigger potential export to the UAE, which at present are being imported from EU countries. Therefore, the Philippines ought to be competitive in this line to be able to enter the market,” he said, hoping for a framework where import duties for said goods will be scrapped.

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Government negotiators from the Philippines and the UAE are set to meet on May 6 to 8 in Dubai for the first round of negotiations for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). -Alden M. Monzon

TAGS: Biz Buzz, Conglomerates

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