Marcos back from 'productive' Brussels trip, brings home P9.8-B investment pledge

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. returned from his "productive" participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-European Union (ASEAN-EU) summits in Brussels, Belgium, bringing home at least P9.8-billion investment pledge from European firms.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (RTVM Screenshot)

"I am pleased to be back in Manila after what was a productive ASEAN-EU Business Summit and Commemorative Summit in Brussels, Belgium," Marcos said in his arrival speech.

"I am delighted that my first visit to Europe, in Brussels in particular, which has the seals of the European Commission, the council of European Union, and the European Council, is a successful one and I can see that the outcomes of this visit will generate opportunities for the benefit of the Filipino people," Marcos added.

He arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Thursday night, Dec. 15, after his three-day visit in Brussels.

The President reported that "an estimated investment pledge of P9.8 billion has been received" from various European companies.

He further said that all business leaders he met on the sidelines of the ASEAN-EU summits "have committed to be part of the Philippines' development and economic growth" particularly in renewable energy, infrastructure, climate change, and food security initiatives.

"I am also pleased to announce that the European business confidence in the Philippines is high as evidence by the expansion plan of European companies that we met in the sectors of fast-moving consumer goods, shipbuilding, renewable energy and green metals," Marcos said.

The chief executive also said that despite him catching colds in the sub-zero Brussels during his trip, he feels that "we have laid much groundwork on which we can plant the seeds of these new partnerships with our friends and partners in Europe."

During his trip, Marcos has held bilateral meetings with the European Council, European Commission, Estonia, Sweden, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Spain with whom he identified "many possible further development and future partnerships."

"We will follow this up until they come to fruition," he said.

In his meeting with King Philippe of Belgium, he said he invited the king to visit the Philippines again as he fondly recalled his last trip here.

Marcos' visit to Belgium is his first visit to Europe as the country's head of state. He also served as the coordinator representing the ASEAN in the Brussels summits.