THE PHILIPPINES and Singapore are exploring the possibility of more partnerships in energy security, artificial intelligence (AI), and trade this year, the two countries’ foreign ministers said on Monday.

In a briefing in Manila, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said Singapore businesses are confident in the economic prospects of the Philippines and are keen on building ties in these areas.

“Both our nations are also keen, to strengthen collaboration in future-oriented areas including the green economy, smart sustainable infrastructure, innovation, startups and opportunities, especially for the many young people that the Philippines has,” he said.

Mr. Balakrishnan said he had discussed with Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique A. Manalo the establishment of a framework for trading carbon credits.

Companies can use carbon markets to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions caused by their projects by buying credits from entities that reduce these emissions, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

“This will be a learning journey for both of us as we transit into the economic and energy transformations,” he said.

The Singapore minister said that he will also be checking up on Singapore businesses operating in the Clark Freeport Zone.

At the briefing, Mr. Manalo said exploring ties in harnessing AI and efforts to mitigate climate change will create more jobs.

“All of these would be in support of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s vision for the Philippines to create more jobs and transform it into an economic powerhouse,” he said.

“Singapore remains one of the Philippines’ most important trade and investment partners.”

In 2022, Philippine imports from Singapore grew 16.83% to $8.12 billion. Singapore was Manila’s 7th largest trading partner that year. — John Victor D. Ordoñez