US trade mission to PH next week includes high-level business execs

MANILA – The White House announced on Friday that 22 high-level business executives will be part of the delegation of US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo in her Presidential Trade and Investment Mission to Manila from March 11 to 12.

The delegation will be exploring business opportunities in the Philippines as part of the two countries’ commitment to further strengthen commercial ties.

Joining Raimondo’s delegation to Manila next week are GreenFire Energy, Inc. president Steven Brown; Sol-Go chairman of the board and chief executive officer (CEO) Scott McHugo; Marquis co-founder, vice president and director of marketing Thomas Marquis; and Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. (USNC) founder and CEO Francesco Venneri in the power sector.

USNC, together with power company Manila Electric Company (Meralco), is exploring the opportunities in nuclear energy here through micro-modular reactors.

Last month, Meralco executive vice president and chief operating officer Ronnie Aperocho said USNC will send its delegation to the Philippines to present the results of the feasibility study on micro-modular reactors and possible sites of these technologies in the country.

Aside from power firms, US companies that will be part of the trade and investment mission here include digital and technology firms such as Google, to be led by its Southeast Asia and South Asia Frontier vice president Sapna Chadha; Microsoft Corp.’s Office of the President Global Strategic Initiatives vice president Mary Snapp; UltraPass ID co-founder and CEO Eric Starr; InnovationForce founder and CEO Kimberly Getgen; and EchoStar/DISH co-founder and chairman of the board Charlie Ergen.

Senior officials of card payment service providers will also participate in the US mission here including Visa Inc. Asia Pacific chairman Chris Clark and Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth founder and president and EVP for Sustainability Shamina Singh.

United Airlines president Brett Hart is also joining Raimondo’s delegation, following the company’s announcement of a new route—Tokyo-Narita to Cebu, starting July 31.

US logistics companies FedEx and United Parcel Service (UPS) will be represented by their Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa Region president Kawal Preet, and EVP and chief corporate affairs and sustainability officer Laura Lane, respectively.

Other members of the delegation are Capital One Philippines president Sara Murphy, Black & Veatch Corp. Asia Pacific and India president Narsingh Chaudhary, Boston Consulting Group global chairman Rich Lesser, Bechtel East Asia and Pacific regional president Anne-Marie Padgett, and KKR head of Asia Pacific Infrastructure and co-head of KKR Asia Pacific David Luboff.

Raimondo will also be accompanied by President’s Export Council chairman Mark Ein, and CEO, US-ASEAN Business Council president Ted Osius, and Foundation International founder Allan Pineda a.k.a

In a press chat in Makati City Friday, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual said this visit of the US Secretary of Commerce is a significant mission to the country as this was initiated by US President Joe Biden himself.

“The mission was initiated by President (Joe) Biden at the time that our President Marcos) visited Washington DC,” Pascual said.

Pascual will also have a bilateral meeting with Raimondo during the latter’s visit here next week.

Raimondo will also meet with the Private Sector Advisory Council and Philippine business organizations. (PNA)

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