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Australia-Philippines Energy Showcase Highlights Investment Potential in the Philippines

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The Australia-Philippines Energy Showcase, hosted by the Australia Philippines Business Council (APBC) at the Duxton Hotel in Perth, served as a platform for knowledge exchange, networking, and collaboration, drawing attention to the investment potential in the Philippines’ energy industry.

Held on 21 May 2024, the event focused on the latest energy market developments and trade between Australia and the Philippines. Keynote speakers from both countries’ energy sectors underscored collaborative efforts and industry opportunities.

Undersecretary Alessandro O. Sales of the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) flew all the way to Perth to highlight opportunities in the upstream energy sector, emphasising the importance of natural gas and the need for additional support to boost local exploration.

Sales announced several executive issuances from October 2023, aimed at improving the energy sector. These include new Data Access Policies making previously restricted energy data freely accessible, and a circular facilitating the exploration of native hydrogen, leveraging the Philippines’ unique geological features. Additionally, he discussed upcoming executive issuances, with draft circulars on the DOE website proposing special allowances and multi-client data acquisition, expected to be finalised by the third quarter.

Moreover, Sales showcased specific opportunities in the Palawan and Sulu Sea regions for natural gas exploration, benefiting the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

BARMM Minister for Environment, Natural Resources & Energy Akmad A. Brahim promoted renewable energy within BARMM, highlighting the region’s commitment to unlocking its potential for global stakeholders. He also addressed past concerns about peace and security in BARMM, emphasising progress made through negotiations and now strong partnerships with the Philippine government, and reassured investors of the improved security situation.

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The event featured a notable Philippine DOE delegation of seven, representing legal, technical, and financial expertise. Experts in finance, law, and petroleum engineering were available to ensure all areas were represented to address enquiries from potential investors.

Other speakers included APBC President Rafael Toda, Deputy State Director WA Kelly Tranter of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), WA State Director Jane Caforio of the Austrade, and S&P Global Commodity Insights Executive Director Antonio Dimabuyu. Remarks from Philippine Ambassador to Australia, H.E. Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega, was read by Vice Consul Angela Laurente.

Hosted by APBC Vice President of Western Australia Jenny Ryall and moderated by APBC Director Marvin Chan, the event concluded with a networking session, fostering discussions on potential collaborations. The showcase not only highlighted significant developments and opportunities in the energy sector but also reinforced the enduring partnership between Australia and the Philippines.

22 May 2024 marks Philippines-Australia Friendship Day, celebrating the strong ties and mutual cooperation between the two nations.

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