Philippine president pushes for more domestic processing
MANILA President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has said he is considering a ban on mineral exports to promote development of related downstream industries, rattling investors anew.
At the opening of the 17th Congress on July 24, Duterte said that he is fine with mining activities that benefit the poor but warned miners to observe environmental laws. He told them to comply or “I will tax you to death.”
“I call on our industrialists, investors [and] commercial barons to put up factories and manufacturing establishments right here in the Philippines to process our raw materials into finished products,” Duterte told a joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
“At this point in my administration, if possible, we shall put a stop to the extraction and exportation of our mineral resources to foreign nations for processing abroad and importing them back to the Philippines in the form of consumer goods at prices twice or thrice the value,” said Duterte, drawing applause from lawmakers.
The Philippines is a leading global producer of nickel and other minerals, but has no domestic processing industries. Last year, it exported 30 million tons of nickel ore to China, which consumes around 30% of global production, according to IHS Markit, a London-based financial services company.
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