PASAY CITY – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) OIC Director General Tereso O. Panga, who was part of the delegation to Japan with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) last February 8-12, is upbeat with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr.’s continuous efforts to forge partnerships and explore more investment deals with various Japanese firms in a bid to make the Philippines an investment haven in Asia.
“We thank PBBM for promoting the country as the smart destination in the region and for drawing $10 billion in investment pledges as he assured the Japanese investors that their businesses will thrive in the Philippines,” stated Panga.
He added, “In support of the government’s investment and export-led growth strategy, PEZA continues to enhance its business ecosystem in the ecozones to be able to attract more investments, jobs, exports and other economic opportunities for the country.”
The OIC chief also shared, “We are expecting more Japanese business partners and companies to come as the President continues to market the Philippines hand-in-hand with us in PEZA, the Board of Investments (BOI), and other investment promotions agencies (IPAs) at the forefront of promoting the Philippines as one of the best long-term business locations in South East Asia.”
The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) announced on Saturday that “About $10 billion or around PhP 500 to PhP 550 Billion in investment pledges were acquired during the President’s visit to Japan.”
Meanwhile, about US$ 13 Billion or Php 708.2 Billion investments were obtained from the Japanese government and investors that will create more than 24,000 jobs in the country.
This came after DTI Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual mentioned that “35 key [investment] deals were signed between the Philippine and Japanese government and business leaders on Friday, 10 February.”
With the Signing of Letters of Intent (LOI), various business sectors such as in infrastructure, energy, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, telecommunications are ‘ready to go’ to boost trade and strategic partnerships between the two countries.
According to President Marcos, Jr., “The Japanese government and business leaders we have met are very open in our discussions for the plans to help increase the development of our country.”
He also noted that “We look forward to future projects in the following sectors from both portfolio and foreign direct investors as we are certain that these will materialize into a fair return to both parties. The Philippines is a great investment area as it leads economic recovery and performance in the Asia-Pacific Region, not only in the [said] region, but also in the whole world.”
Further, President Marcos Jr. is targeting the Philippines to focus on the fields of knowledge and technology sectors, green metals, digital transformation, modernization of food and health sectors, artificial intelligence, biomaterial research and development, data center, as well as animation and game development.
As pointed out by OIC Panga, “Japan has been the leading country in investing in the Philippine economic zones. Of the total investments and locators, Japanese companies accounted for revenues totaling 745.637 Billion pesos or 27.42% of total PEZA generated business.”
“The 884 Japanese companies have weathered the pandemic and continue to provide much needed jobs for Filipinos. They have committed to sustain their operations in our economic zones because of conducive business climate that the PEZA provides. These despite strong competition from other offers among ASEAN member states,” the OIC Chief added.
Panga also stated, “We have already received more inquiries from interested Japanese companies who will greatly add to the exports of the Philippines in the amount of 15.865 Billion US Dollars.”
Notable Japanese locator companies that took part in PBBM’s working visit-business forum like Murata, Brother, Epson, Minebea, Tamiya, Mitsubishi Motors, TDK, Toyota group, Japan Tobacco Inc., Sumitomo, Marubeni, Yokowo, Ibiden and Nidec are in for the long haul with their big-ticket investments, increased employment and production capacities in the pipeline.
Meanwhile, the PEZA interim Chief said, “The retention of incentives for ecozone logistics service enterprises (ELSEs) with the recent clarification by the Board of Investments (BOI) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) was appreciated much by the Japanese ELSEs and their client ecozone locator companies.”
Integrated ELSE providers such as Nagase, Inabata, Lima Logistics, Tokai Electronics, and NX Logistics altogether contribute to around PhP 3.5 Billion or 31% of the total PhP 11.15 billion investments under the ELSEs program of PEZA.
With the growth mindset of the PBBM administration and the Philippines’ position to benefit from the prevailing global disruptions and upturn in the national economy, Panga shared, “We remain committed together with all the IPAs in performing our mandate to expand and grow the ecozone program as we help manage the temporary headwinds and contribute to the country’s transition to upper middle-income status and sustained economic growth.”