MAKATI CITY – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Inc. (JCCIPI) have vowed to strengthen its collaborative efforts to attract more investors in the country and ultimately promote the Philippines as an investment destination.
This comes as PEZA Director General Tereso O. Panga addressed the JCCIPI members during its annual general meeting last 17 May 2023 at the Makati Diamond Residences. The said event was attended by 330 members on-site and 70 virtual participants, the largest turnout in any of JCCIPI’s general meetings.
JCCIPI President Shigeru Shimoda thanked the PEZA Chief for providing the much-needed updates about PEZA’s plans and programs and addressing several issues concerning the Japanese investors.
“[PEZA’s presentation] not only engaged the audience but also provided valuable insights and perspective that left a lasting impact on the attendees,” noted President Shimoda.
Some of the issues raised by the JCCIPI members are the work-from-home arrangements, the proclamation of new ecozones, and the competitive edge and the challenges in investing in the Philippines.
Panga assured, “President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual have helped PEZA in resolving the said issues. We are also in close coordination with the other agencies and organizations to continuously address the pain-points that are proving to be the barriers in the entry of investments to our country.”
‘Japan has always been ichiban’
During his keynote address, DG Panga noted that Japan has always been ichiban in PEZA. He stated, “The remarkable contributions of our Japanese locator companies serve as a prime example of the strong partnership and economic progress achieved through the collaboration between Japan and the Philippines in which we continue to fortify.”
To date, there are a total of 884 Japanese enterprises in PEZA contributing PhP 745.637 billion investments and directly employ 345,807 workers.
PEZA has also approved for this year three (3) big-ticket Japanese investments with a combined investment capital of PhP 20.951 billion.
With more investment missions being conducted, PEZA is certain that more foreign direct investments especially coming from Japan will enter the Philippines starting this year.
Panga stated, “It is now up to us to follow through the investment pledges we received during the various investment missions abroad done especially by President Marcos, the best salesman in promoting the Philippines for greater trade and investment opportunities.”
In preparation for the influx of investments to the country, PEZA and JCCIPI are looking for areas of collaboration.
“We look forward to future collaborations and opportunities to work together in promoting bilateral business relations and economic growth,” expressed JCCIPI President Shimoda.
In response to this, Panga expressed, “We count on strengthening our always reliable partnership that would further bolster the trade and investment relations of Japan and the Philippines as we gear towards catering to more strategic and big-ticket investments in the country, especially those that are coming from Japan.”
“PEZA will remain true to its best practices and will continue to enhance its ease of doing business to provide for the best business ecosystem in the ecozones so we can continue to attract more investments and sustain the growth of our locator companies,” assured the PEZA Chief.