News Release

PBBM sees greater trade cooperation potential between PH and Hawaii

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. believes there is still a great potential for the Philippines and Hawaii to expand their trade cooperation.

The President made the remark as he welcomed the Honolulu City Council delegation and participants of the 31st Trade Mission of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (FCCH) and Hawaii Philippines Business Economic Council (HPBEC) during their joint courtesy call in Malacañang on Thursday.

“The trading missions that you have been conducting and the possibilities that you have to explore in terms of strengthening the economic ties and trade ties between Hawaii specifically and the Philippines, I think there’s a great deal of potential there,” President Marcos said.

The delegation is in the country for the conduct of the 31st Trade Mission to the Philippines from February 13 to 24, which FCCH and HPBEC are leading. The Philippine Consulate General of Honolulu is also supporting the event as part of the country’s economic diplomacy efforts.

The mission aims to strengthen economic and investment ties between the Philippines and the State of Hawaii, with this year’s itinerary including visits to Sorsogon, Candon and Vigan in Ilocos Sur, San Pedro in Laguna, Angeles City in Pampanga, and Manila.

President Marcos said the trading situation across the world has changed since the pandemic ended, noting that more opportunities have opened up for the Philippines to participate and expand its trade cooperation overseas.

“The situation has changed, the circumstances have changed and now I think we are presented with so many grand opportunities,” he said.

“It behooves us to do our best, to try and explore those, to make those potentialities into reality. And there are many, many areas that we can do that,” he further stated.

The chief executive also mentioned that administration’s thrust on implementing ease of doing business to encourage more investors to venture in the Philippines.

“For our part, in the Philippines, what we have been trying to do is to make the investments or the exchanges easier so that it is more transparent, more accountable, and in terms of cost as well. I mean all of these — the supply, the supply chain problems that we’ve been encountering around the world,” he said.

“Those are the problems that we have tried to remedy, to alleviate and I think we have succeeded for this time. We will continue to work in that direction because, again, trade is important to us,” the President added.

FCCH is said to be the oldest Filipino business chamber in the United States, having been founded in 1954. Entrepreneurs, business owners, professionals, and Filipino-American community leaders in the state make up its membership.

The Chamber aims to improve commercial ties between Hawaii and the Philippines, expand possibilities for its members, aid in their professional development, as well as promote community well-being.

The HPBEC, on the other hand, was primarily organized for charitable and educational purposes: organizing forums for information and guidance sharing between Hawaii and the Philippines; fortifying business and economic development ties between the two countries; and advocating on behalf of Hawaii residents who live in both the US state and the Philippines, especially those who hold dual citizenship. PND