The Philippines has become the latest country to launch a new foreign press agency, with the government pledging to help foreign media outlets in the country.
President Rodrigo Duterte launched the agency, the Philippines Network for Foreign Press, in November, in an attempt to boost foreign investment in the developing country.
Foreign journalists and broadcasters will also be able to use the agency to gain access to a range of areas, including social media and social networking, according to the new foreign government agency.
In its new charter, the agency says it aims to support foreign news and cultural media, including a foreign media platform in the Philippines that is “a joint venture between local and foreign companies to foster the growth and development of the Philippine economy and society.”
The new agency, which will include the Philippine Broadcasting Corporation, Philippine Broadcasting Network, Philippine Radio Network and Philippine Television Network, has already launched in China, Germany, India, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Duterte, who has been criticised by human rights groups for the extrajudicial killings of his political opponents, has been pushing to attract more foreign investment to the Philippines.
The Philippines government, which has the world’s second-largest number of foreign media workers, also launched a new domestic media agency last year.
The Philippine Broadcasting System is owned by the Philippine Corporation for Overseas Territories (PCOT) and is run by a board of directors that includes representatives of the government and local news media.
In an interview with The Associated Press last year, the Manila-based broadcaster said the new agency will “provide new opportunities for Filipino media outlets to reach a global audience.”
“We are confident that the Philippine network will benefit from the additional investment and our presence in China will help us gain a better understanding of local audiences, including through the expansion of our network into Chinese markets,” the Philippine broadcaster said in the report.
In a statement, the Philippine government said it was “committed to expanding our capacity and strengthening our media network in the Philippine market to help increase the impact of our journalism and to build new media partnerships that will further diversify our nation’s economic and cultural profile.”
“With the Philippines at the forefront of global digital media and in the forefront for digital innovation, the government is committed to expanding its global reach and leveraging our expertise in digital media to strengthen our media presence in countries across Asia and the world,” the statement said.
“We have a rich and vibrant Filipino media sector that is ready and willing to help expand and enhance the Philippine broadcasting network.”
Duterte’s administration has also signed contracts with foreign broadcasters, including French-language media outlets, which are currently operating in Asia.
The contracts include a 10-year broadcasting agreement with the Philippine-based international broadcasting network France3TV, and a 20-year broadcast agreement with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, which was set up to broadcast in the region.
The agreement also includes a 10,000-euro ($13,400) contract for French-channel channel M4, which is currently in the process of establishing a Chinese-language news station.