US-based global investment firm KKR is investing $400 million for the development of telco towers in the Philippines, according to the US Department of Commerce.

In a statement yesterday, the US Department of Commerce said KKR would make the investment through independent telecom tower operator Pinnacle Towers.

The department said KKR 'expects to continue investing approximately $400 million in the platform, including plans to develop and acquire roughly 2,000 towers to support digital connectivity across the Philippines.'

Pinnacle Towers first secured funding from KKR in 2020.

The department said KKR continues to be highly attracted to the Philippine market and is interested do more to support national infrastructure and development priorities.

KKR is part of the US presidential trade and investment mission led by US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo that was in the Philippines from March 11 to 12.

Raimondo said earlier that US firms that are part of the trade mission are investing over $1 billion for projects in various sectors in the Philippines. The figure includes recently completed or anticipated investments in the country.

Aside from KKR, the US Department of Commerce said Sol-Go intends to make an additional investment in the Philippines, particularly in solar panel production.

From the initial half-million dollar investment in Lipa City in Batangas, it said Sol-Go aims to achieve 15-megawatt capacity within the next few months and is planning an additional investment of $5 million to reach 100-megawatt capacity from 2025 to 2026.

InnovationForce, meanwhile, is in talks to form a new partnership with AboitizPower for the use of the US firm's technology to automate operations.

Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. is working with Manila Electric Co. on a carbon-free electrical generation system and the firms are expected to launch a new phase of electricity generation in the Philippines using Ultra Safe's advanced nuclear battery, with the groundbreaking scheduled for 2028.

Mastercard has announced a new partnership with Boost Capital to empower over 10,000 Filipino small business owners with access to digital financial services and credit, along with financial literacy training.

Last Tuesday, UltraPass ID signed an agreement with the Department of Budget and Management for the use of the US firm's platform for biometric authentication and data sharing within government applications.

UltraPass ID also entered into an agreement with NOW Corp. to utilize UltraPass ID's biometric authentication in information communications technology systems across Asia, complementing the grant received by NOW from the US Trade and Development Agency to develop reliable and secure nationwide 5G mobile and broadband networks in the Philippines. Foundation International led by Filipino-American from the Black Eyed Peas, is launching the Philippines' first Electric Mobility Education and Development Center in partnership with Legacy EV from Phoenix, Arizona to provide training in electric vehicle technology, repair, maintenance, as well as installation and operation of charging infrastructure.

Google is rolling out Google Career Certificates in 50 Department of Trade and Industry virtual campuses covering over 1,300 DTI Negosyo Centers in 16 regions nationwide.

In addition, Google is on track to complete the TPU (Taiwan-Philippines-United States) subsea cable system by the end of 2025.

Microsoft is working with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, DBM and DTI to see how the Microsoft 365 Copilot chatbot tool, as well as Azure OpenAI can boost the agencies' productivity and better serve citizens.

It is also working with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to train 100,000 women and thousands more job seekers in artificial intelligence skills, while the Department of Education is deploying Microsoft's AI-powered literacy tool to 27 million Philippine students.

To help strengthen supply chain resilience, UPS has announced plans to provide skills training to 500 Philippines-based small and medium sized company representatives.

Visa, meanwhile, announced it recently signed a two-year memorandum of understanding with the DTI's training arm Philippine Trade Training Center to educate micro, small and medium enterprises on financial and business literacy.

United Airlines announced it would expand in the Philippines through a new year-round, non-stop service from Cebu to Tokyo (Narita International Airport), starting July 31.

The US Department of Commerce also said the US-ASEAN Business Council would hold its annual Philippines business mission from May 20 to 23 of this year to discuss opportunities for collaboration.

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