The Philippines and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have agreed to enhance their cooperation on trade and investments, labor, and renewable energy following the meeting between President Marcos and Saudi Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud.

Mohammed bin Salman
PH-KSA TIES — President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. meets Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud at the sidelines of the ASEAN-GCC Summit in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on Oct. 20, 2023. (MalacaƱang photo)

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the inaugural Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh on Oct. 20.

During their meeting, the Arabian monarch expressed interest in enhancing the Kingdom's trade and investment ties with the Philippines, particularly more business-to-business engagements and in the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF).

In response, Marcos said the Philippines was willing to meet Saudi businesses to learn how the Kingdom's sovereign wealth funds are structured so that the private sector can participate in the MIF.

The Crown Prince also raised possible partnerships in renewable energy, citing as an example a Saudi company that produces solar panels for the whole Middle East and Africa that could also invest in the country.

President Marcos said the Philippines was ready to partner with Saudi Arabia to boost the former's clean energy supply.

In addition, Marcos expressed the Philippines' willingness to cooperate with the Kingdom to ensure food security through agricultural projects for food production for the Saudi Arabian market.

More Pinoys in KSA

Meanwhile, the Crown Prince said they wanted to hire more Filipino workers — whom he called the best in the world — to achieve KSA's steady growth rate in line with its Vision 2030.

He said Saudi Arabia needs a large workforce, stressing the need for the Saudi population to grow to at least 60 million from the current 20 million, of which 14 million will comprise the country's workforce.

President Marcos responded that the Philippines was willing to assist KSA in supplying skilled workers and professionals.

The Crown Prince said that his government had set aside initial funding for the benefits of displaced Filipino workers when their companies went bankrupt. He added that the payment was still under process and that the Kingdom was working on the details.

Source: Manila Bulletin (