PH, Indonesia collaborate in copper industry

Philippines and Indonesia have committed to forge closer economic and bilateral ties to further deepening collaboration for both countries copper industry. 

This developed after the Board of Investments (BOI) recently held an online Copper Industry Dialogue with its Indonesian counterpart, Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) along with other government agencies and stakeholders on both sides. 

The Dialogue was conceptualized and proposed during the 8th meeting of the Philippines-Indonesia Joint Working Group on Trade, Investments, Handicrafts and Shipping. This was a follow-up initiative from the Philippine side after presenting economic proposals/areas for collaboration in the copper industry.

“This serves as a venue for both countries to exchange information, share good practices, and present investment opportunities and areas for collaboration in the sector, among others. The dialogue serves as a benchmark for future initiatives and collaborations between the Philippines and Indonesia in different sectors,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said. 

To recall, the BOI recently launched the Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone or LEIZ Master Development Plan which outlines the strategies to successfully develop the very first ecological industrial zone in the country that will anchor on the copper industry and other allied industries such as iron and steel and shipbuilding. Another BOI-led project, the Make It Happen in the Philippines investments promotion campaign, features the copper industry as one of the priority sectors for investment promotion. These projects relate to the current pandemic situation as it forms part of the Philippines’ plan in rebuilding the economy. 

Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Leehiong Wee expressed support for the dialogue saying it is instrumental in advancing the cooperation of both sides as he expects both countries to coordinate with each other for cooperation and eventual joint projects. 

During the dialogue, both sides presented overviews of its respective mining/copper industry and existing/relevant policies, as well as possible collaboration areas in the sector. 

Rodolfo expressed hope that both countries will complement each other with “Indonesia helping us develop our upstream, midstream, and downstream copper industries that are needed to realize full integration of the industry which we hope to achieve by 2030.” 

Eulalio Austin Jr., President and CEO of Philex Mining Corp. mentioned the pipeline copper projects of Silangan. in Surigao del Norte, Tampakan, in South Cotabato, and Kingking, in Compostela Valley that will require huge capital investments. Once these will be realized, it will yield economic progress not only to Mindanao but the country in general. 

The Indonesian side led by BKPM Director for Bilateral Investment Cooperation Randi Anwar, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources’ Director General for Mineral and Coal Dr. Muhammad Wafid, and Ministry of Industry’s Acting Head of Sub-Directorate for Non-Iron Metal Industry Dr. Bimo Pratomo, welcomed future collaboration and cooperation activities on the copper/mining industry to help each sides’ downstream copper industries. 

“There is certainly a wide scope of cooperation between the Philippines and Indonesia to undertake concerted and mutually supportive efforts to grow our copper industries and improve our integration in global value chains. This dialogue is a recognition of the opportunities for cooperation between our two countries. I am confident that this will only be one of the many bilateral initiatives for the copper industry,” BOI Executive Director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa said.