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Philippine Officials Pursue Japanese Investment

Financial secretary Carlos Dominguez is seeking investment in infrastructure, manufacturing, digital technology, renewable energy and R&D


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
“Japan is one of our significant trade, investment, and development assistance partners,” Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said in a video address. Photo: AFP

 

The Philippines has launched a programme to attract Japanese investment, citing its continued economic growth through the coronavirus pandemic.

Key officials touted the Southeast Asian archipelago’s achievements in a virtual economic briefing hosted by the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo and the country’s Department of Trade and Industry.

“Japan is one of our significant trade, investment, and development assistance partners,” Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told the forum in a video address.

Shigetoshi Aoyama, executive vice-president of the Japan External Trade Organisation, noted that the Philippines “is the sole country among the ASEAN 5 to have maintained a stable economic growth of 6% or more for eight consecutive years”, referring to the group’s largest economies – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Jose Laurel, the Philippine ambassador, said there are 964 Japanese companies in the country engaged in manufacturing, information technology, facilities operation and logistics, all of which have generated jobs for over 350,000 Filipinos and nearly $10 billion worth of exports in 2019.

 

A Top Trading Partner

“Japan continues to be one of the Philippines’ top trading and foreign investment partners, with direct equity investments in the various economic zones in the country, reaching 11.8 billion pesos ($233 million) in the first and second quarter of this year or with 28.2% share of total economic zone foreign direct investments,” Laurel said.

Carlos Dominguez, the financial secretary, said he wanted to see Japanese investment in infrastructure, manufacturing, digital technology, renewable energy and research and development activities.

“The Philippines is more than ready for a new and better normal,” he said.

Philippine officials cited Japan’s Marubeni Corporation as an investor in the country’s digital future. Marubeni is developing new and sustainable infrastructure projects in energy development, the smart New Clark City development, railways and water services.

It has also launched fintech, specifically AI-powered micro-lending through mobile applications to support Philippine seafarers and small businesses as well as and digital technology for energy efficiency.

 

  • George Russell

 

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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