The opening of the Philippine office of Japanese banking colossus Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC) should help boost the local economy, according to Senate President Franklin M. Drilon.
“I am confident that SMBC’s new core banking branch will be able to attract more foreign direct investments in the Philippines, particularly those from its main clients,” Drilon said on Tuesday in his remarks during the inauguration of SMBC’s Manila office held in Makati City.
He said the entry of SMBC would provide better and wider services, as well enhance competitiveness of the country not only Asian region, but the global market as well.
Since day one Drilon pointed out that the Aquino administration has been developing an investor-friendly climate to attract investors in the country.
“For the past five years this government has been cultivating a business and investment environment that allows foreign investors to engage in a wider array of financial activities to comply with reasonable and expedient regulatory requirements and subsequently earn a fair and equitable return of their investment,” Drilon said.
“The bold structural and economic reforms that the government has employed in the last five years have started very good. Today the Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.
The spectacular economic performance in a span of five years inspired confidence in our country’s ability to become an economic force in the Asian region in the near future,” he added.
On his part, Philippine Ambassador to Japan, Manuel Lopez, said the presence of the second largest bank in Japan can deliver quality service to both Filipino and Japanese clients. “The country is positive on the opening of SMBC because it is can provide fresh funds to Philippine businesses,” Lopez said.
Moreover, Lopez added that the Philippine small and medium enterprises can benefit from SMBC’s banking expertise because it provide them new services to make them more competitive and efficient.
Republic Act (RA) 7721 was passed on July 2014, allowing the entry of foreign banks in the country.
Under RA 7721, Drilon said the country has benefited from the entry of foreign banks through the introduction of new management processes, increased competition, improvement of the local banks’ capital base and expansion of services by Philippine banks.