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PIA Press Release

GMA foreign trips bring benefits to country - Malacanang

Dagupan City (29 June) -- The foreign trips of President Macapagal-Arroyo bring benefits for the country in terms of jobs generation, infrastructure development and agricultural advancement, among others.

Malacanang made this clarification in the wake of criticisms that the foreign travels of the President were just a waste of money and that no concrete benefits were being derived.

On jobs generation, a total of US$2.2 billion worth of investments and job opportunities resulted from her trip to South Korea, while US$500 million worth of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) projects were secured from Japan. Resulting from the China trip was a US$2 billion property development investment for Fort Bonifacio. Two giant oil firms in the Middle East - Al Kharafi and Qtel - pledged to invest up to US$1 billion.

On infrastructure development, China's Shiamao Property Holdings Limited is investing US$700 million for a hotel project, while Spain committed 180 million euros for the construction of steel bridges and modular roll on-roll off ports.

The President's trips also resulted in other benefits like the US$190 million

for Filipino war veterans, the commutation of sentence by the emir of Kuwait for Marilou Ranario and the support of Syria and Egypt for the Philippine's bid for observer status in the Organization of Islamic Conference.

Her recent trips secured cooperation agreements on flights, defense and energy from Russia, and memorandum of understanding on renewable energy, bioethanol and bioenergy cooperation from Brazil.

For agricultural advancement, a memorandum of understanding was signed with Bahrain for the establishment of a general framework for agriculture and fisheries cooperation in Mindanao. The Saudi monarch has formed an inter-agency committee composed of the ministries of foreign affairs, agriculture, commerce and industry to come up with a program for agriculture investment.

A Chinese firm is set to construct a thread processing plant sourced from palm and banana trees.

By working together, the President believes that the country will beat the odds. (PIA Pangasinan/DOS) [top]

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