US keen on engaging business in Cebu, C. Visayas – Ambassador Kim

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Ambassador Sung Kim poses with officials after delivering a message at the general membership meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce – Cebu during his first visit to the province July 12 to 13, 2017. U.S. EMBASSY HANDOUT

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The United States is keeping a keen eye on robust business opportunities in Cebu and Central Visayas, both in the public and private sectors, as part of the overall thrust of furthering economic tries between the two countries, Ambassador Sung Kim told Cebu officials in a meeting this week.

Kim met with Governor Hilario Davide III and Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña as he delivered remarks at the general membership meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce – Cebu, where he recognized the vibrant American business community in Cebu.

The US will continue to expand bilateral trade and investment ties in the Philippines, the ambassador said.

“I want to assure you that the United States will continue to partner with the Philippines and look for ways to increase foreign investment, reduce trade barriers, and streamline business regulations,” he stressed. He noted that the US government is continuously working with Philippine government officials in an effort to advocate for a level playing field for businesses.

He also attended an event hosted by American company 3M that facilitated discussion on industry trends and showcased cutting-edge technology in the infrastructure sector, the food sector, and the hospital sector to the Visayan market.

Ambassador Kim visited the Cebu Consular Agency, a key part of the Embassy’s American Citizen Services efforts. Cebu and the Central Visayas region are home to a large resident US citizen population, as well as host to thousands of US citizen visitors each year.

Meanwhile, he also met with three Counter-Trafficking in Persons grantees of the United States Agency for International Development through the Philippine-American Fund, who have received about P43 million in grants to support the prosecution and prevention of sex trafficking. Two of these grantees operate in Metro Cebu, while the third one serves in Northern Iloilo.

Ambassador Kim witnessed the signing of nine-month extensions of each grant, providing additional funding of approximately P7.6 million for each project to focus on work that bolsters sustainability of the activities on prevention, protection and prosecution.