Catherine N. Pillas & Butch Fernandez
THE Philippines has secured $6 billion in investments following President Duterte’s official visit to Japan, according to chief of the Department of Trade
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez told reporters on Monday that the investments from Japan, the country’s top trading partner, will benefit various economic sectors.
“The President met several Japanese companies and witnessed several business-to-business memoranda of understanding, letters of intent on investment plans, joint ventures and expansion of operations in the Philippines,” said Lopez, who joined the delegation of the President in Japan.
The amount, which would cover a total of 18 deals, will be channeled to shipbuilding and iron and steel, agribusiness, power, renewable energy, transportation, infrastructure and mineral processing.
Retail, information and communications technology and information-technology and business-process management are also areas of interest for the Japanese companies.
Japan is as the country’s top foreign investor, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). In the second quarter, Japan was the top prospective investing country. Pledges from Japan amounted to P4.8 billion.
Data from the PSA showed that total foreign investments approved in the second quarter amounted to P18.2 billion, down from P40.4 billion recorded in the same period last year.
Data from the PSA also showed Japan was one of the top buyers of Philippine goods in August.Exports during the period rose by 9.4 percent to $5.51 billion, from $5.04 billion last year.
The Japanese market, including Okinawa, accounted for 15 percent of total exports, with receipts amounting to $827.36 million in August. Japan was also one of the top sources of imports for the Philippines during the period.
Sen. Joseph Victor G. Ejercito on Tuesday welcomed Japan’s commitment to aid Marawi’s rehabilitation effort and bankroll Metro Manila’s subway system.
“I am very happy with Japan’s commitment to help Marawi,” Ejercito said, adding: “With their pledge to undertake subway project for Metro Manila, it is like a dream come true for me.”
The senator admitted being elated by Japan’s gesture of guaranteeing funding support for Metro Manila’s first subway system, saying, “I have been advocating this for the longest time.”