European Commission: Submarine Cable Project Can Extend to PH From Japan

The European Commission's submarine cable project linking Europe to Japan may first extend to the Philippines.By Gabriel Pabico Lalu,
July 31, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — A submarine cable project of the European Commission (EC) that would link Europe to Japan may extend to the Philippines first before it reaches the rest of Southeast Asia, EC president Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.

Von der Leyen, who met with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. earlier, said that having this submarine internet cable move across the Philippines first provides a good strategic position for the country.

“We are also working on a possible extension on a submarine cable that we plan to build between the European via the Arctic to Japan, and this cable could go all the way down to Southeast Asia,” she said.

“And we believe that it could go via the Philippines that would give you a strategic position on an infrastructure that could be instrumental both for your prosperity and national security.  We will stay in close contact on this,” she added.

According to the EC president, one of their goals is turning the Philippines into a digital hub — launching a digital economy package for the country, which will include programs for faster internet.

“My third point is on turning the Philippines into a digital hub in the region.  Global Gateway will also play a crucial role here, and European companies are ready to come and invest in the Philippines,” von der Leyen said.

“We will launch this year the digital economy package for the Philippines, that is we will work together on fast and reliable connectivity with submarine cables on cybersecurity training, and on deployment and development of 5G,” she added.

Von der Leyen is in the Philippines for a two-day visit.  Earlier, President Marcos led arrival honors for von der Leyen, before the two discussed points of collaboration.

Later, it was revealed that Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga and European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron signed an agreement that would facilitate a Team Europe Initiative on Green Economy, which would amount to €466 million or P28.12 billion.

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