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The Philippines and Chile have agreed to strengthen cooperation to develop their respective geothermal and mining sectors after President Benigno S. Aquino III met his counterpart in a bilateral meeting during the 20th APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Russia.
During a briefing with Philippine media in Vladivostok, Russia, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said Chile expressed its interest in learning from the Philippines and possibly enticing more Filipino companies to invest in its geothermal undertakings. The Philippines is number two in using geothermal energy in the world.
In turn, Del Rosario said the Philippines is seeking cooperation with Chile to learn the best mining practices in that country, particularly in the area of responsible mining.
Also during the same media briefing, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said Chile already has geothermal investors from the Philippines and Chile is happy with with these Philippine companies.
The Energy Development Corp. (EDC) of the Philippines is already operating in Chile.
“The President basically requested that we increase the number of or the volume of investments and interaction between Philippine companies or the Philippine government and the Chilean government regarding geothermal energy,” Almendras said.
Pinera was surprised that the geothermal developments in the Philippines were already fully privatized while Chile looks at increasing government participation in those development projects, Almendras said.
We are going to be sharing with them some of the frameworks or the structures that we have developed in the Philippines that has become very encouraging for private companies to into geothermal energy,” he said.
Chile, having tremendous potential in geothermal energy, has asked the Philippines to help it develop a regulatory framework that will encourage private sector participation in geothermal development projects in Chile, Almendras said. Chile wants an immediate discussion with the Philippines to craft such guidelines, he added.
Almendras said the Foreign Affairs Minister of Chile told him that he is going to instruct the Ambassador of Chile to the Philippines to immediately start discussions next week to spearhead the initiative.
“I think the other discussion that was being developed is Chile’s intention of bringing more Filipino awareness to opportunities in Chile. The whole point was to frame a full cooperation framework. In the bilateral meeting there was really very strong interest on the part of Chile to become closer to the Philippines—in every aspect and in any aspect in the relationship that we can develop,” he said.