PASAY CITY – In relentless pursuit to position the Philippines as the best choice of investment destination in Southeast Asia, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) reports positive outlook on attracting more Japanese investors to the Philippines in the recently concluded outbound investment mission in Japan, held on November 14 to 18.
In a five-day investment promotion meetings and activities, PEZA together with private sector partner Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC) pitched the Philippines for investments especially for export productions in ecozones. The said investment mission was joined by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Board of Investments (BOI), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Energy (DOE) and Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC-Tokyo).
In his presentation, PEZA OIC Director General Tereso O. Panga discussed during the “Philippine Business Forum” held on 14 November, “As of September, PEZA has a total of 898 Japanese enterprises located in our economic zones with cumulative investments of PhP 739.599 billion. Meanwhile, from January to September 2022, PhP 11.262 billion of investments were made from Japanese investors, with USD 13.258 Billion of export income generated, and created 351,335 direct jobs.”
In terms of priority sectors in the current PBBM administration, OIC Chief Panga said “We draw our guidance from the priority strategy of President Bongbong Marcos which are into economy, agriculture, and renewable energy. We are also guided by DTI’s Science Technology Innovation-driven industrialization strategy.”
“Ito po ang hinahanap natin na investments galing sa Japan. Bagama’t sila ngayon ay number one na investor sa ecozones under PEZA, patuloy pa natin silang hinihikayat na mag-invest pa sa Pilipinas,” added Panga. (Although they are already the number one ranking investor in economic zones under PEZA, we are still encouraging them to invest more in the Philippines.)
According to DTI Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Dr. Ceferino S. Rodolfo, “They are pioneers and leaders in key areas in renewable energy and digitalization. Japan also administered visionary industrial souls that will provide us with full solutions should they decide to locate in the Philippines.”
Back-to-back investment signings
In a roundtable discussion of PEZA and AIC last 17 November, PEZA inked two (2) strategic partnerships: A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Junca Global Partner, Inc. and a Registration Agreement (RA) with Kurabe Industrial Philippines, Inc.
Under the MOU Signing with Junca Global Partner, Inc., PEZA and Junca shall aggressively promote the Philippines as an investment destination not only for the established manufacturing companies in Japan but as well as startups that want to collaborate with local startups or MSMEs that are engaged in activities under the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe). Junca Global Partner, Inc. is into stem cells biotech, fintech, and blockchain technology.
OIC Chief Panga mentioned, “With the signed MOU, PEZA and Junca will collaborate in bringing renewable energy technologies to ecozones and thereby enable locator companies to remain globally competitive while at the same time contributing to mitigating the effects of climate change pursuant to the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.”
In an interview with PTV, Panga also said, “These are high-tech industries that will diversify the country’s investment profile. The biotech industry will support our bid to attract (investments in) R&D and pave way for their commercialization and level up the value chain so we can compete with big countries on high-tech industries,”
Junca Chairman and CEO Dr. Hisayuki Nagatome stated, “I would like to thank Director General Panga, DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual, and President Marcos Jr. for this partnership. I guarantee you that Junca Holdings will invest and bring in the latest technology in the Philippines through PEZA, especially in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain system, biotech and stem cell, and wellness products.”
Meanwhile, with the signed Registration Agreement, Kurabe, an electronics company, will operate in a five-hectare lot in Lima Technology Center - Special Economic Zone (LTC-SEZ) in Lipa City, Batangas. Kurabe will engage in the manufacturing and assembly of car seat heater (CSH), steering wheel heater (STH), and CSH and STH heating wires.
Japanese stakeholders committed to bringing more investments in PH
OIC Chief Panga shared that business meetings with potential investors were “serious and have heightened interest to invest in areas under the renewable energy, electronic vehicle, and agro-industrial sector.”
PEZA delegates met with Japanese EV stakeholders, Marubeni, Umehara, Epson, Canon, FEC, and SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. There were also consultation meetings with the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo with leading Japanese banks.
With PEZA’s robust investment promotions in Japan and in other recently visited countries, PEZA OIC Director General highlighted, “We echo the call of the government and our investors that the Philippines is the smart investment choice in the region. This is the best time to invest in the Philippines as it is one of the top-performing countries in Asia.”
This is seconded by Aboitiz InfraCapital Head of Economic Estates Rafael Fernandez de Mesa. He said, “We are committed to helping establish the Philippines as a preferred investment destination in the region and we would be honored to welcome more Japanese [investment] leaders.” (PEZA)