Japanese firms to invest $1.24-B in new projects, expansion

MANILA — Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez revealed that a total of USD1.24 billion worth of investments and expansions of existing projects by Japanese companies are poised to flow into the Philippine economy in the near future.

These investments in the areas of manufacturing, agriculture, retail, real estate, automotive, as well as education, are expected to generate some 16,000 jobs in the country.

“These expansion projects and new investments are proof that foreign companies have strong confidence in our country’s economic stability and business environment under the Duterte administration. They wish to grow their business and partner with us in providing more jobs and opportunities for Filipinos,” Lopez said in a statement over the weekend.

In his business mission to Tokyo, Japan last March 11-13, 2019, Lopez, together with Undersecretary Rowel Barba and Philippine Trade and Investment Center Commercial Counselor Dita Angara- Mathay, engaged with various Japanese firms to discuss their expansion plans as well as offered the assistance of DTI and the Board of Investments (BOI) if they are serious about pursuing their plans here.

Mitsubishi Corporation’s joint venture project worth USD76 million with a Filipino real estate company will offer affordable housing. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.’s investment worth USD5.3 million paved the way for the inauguration of the Magsaysay Maritime–Mitsui O.S.K. Lines’ Maritime Academy in Dasmarinas.

Itochu Corporation, through their subsidiary Dolefil, is investing in a waste-to-energy project worth USD19.2 million that will convert pineapple waste into biogas. This joint venture with Metro Pacific Investment Corporation will produce electricity that can replace 20 percent of their yearly grid requirement.

ISE Food chairman Hikonobu Ise shared their recent deal with Filipino companies in putting up a large-scale poultry farm composed of five integrated farms, which will have six million layers.

The farm will employ and train Filipino workers on the latest technology in poultry farming and fortified egg production. Total investment for this project amounts to USD250 million and is expected to offer 1,000 jobs.

Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Inc. will also invest in a USD46 million manufacturing facility that will produce wire harness systems for auto vehicles, expected to generate 13,000 employment opportunities.

The company is currently looking for a possible location of their factory. Lopez offered BOI’s assistance and committed to provide a list of candidate locations suitable for their requirements.

The meetings also served as venues for the Trade Secretary to clarify the benefits of the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and Higher Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) Bill, while also addressing the concerns raised by the Japanese investors on the tax bill.

“The DTI and the BOI are actively engaging with our foreign investors, like the Japanese, to assist them in these expansion projects and new business endeavors in the country. We assure them that the Philippine government welcomes all investors that would like join our growth story,” Lopez said. (PR)