The Philippines is strategically located in the Indo-Pacific and critical to U.S. national interests in the region. For one, the Philippines, the oldest ally in Southeast Asia, shares important security ties with the U.S. as a major non-NATO strategic partner. Equally important is the major trading and investment partnership between the two countries. Bi-lateral trade in goods and services in 2017 totaled an estimated $29.6 billion, with a $6.7 billion deficit in favor of the Philippines. The U.S. government’s strategic focus on the region, in tandem with the decades-long close ties between the countries, presents significant opportunities to support the vision of an Indo-Pacific partnership based on democratic values and free and open trade, while advancing the Philippines’ journey to self-reliance.
Thus, this new five-year development plan will support signature U.S. initiatives including the Indo-Pacific Transparency Initiative, Infrastructure Transaction Advisory Network, Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership and Asia Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy, will advance the U.S.-Philippines Indo-Pacific partnership. This new, five-year development strategy also responds to long-standing structural challenges and current developments in the country’s political economy. These strategic priorities inform the Mission’s five-year goal that will help ensure that the Philippines is a well-governed and more self-reliant Indo-Pacific partner.