THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) inked an agreement with Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) which aims to help the investment promotion agency to tap into a “broader” network of international investors.
On the other hand, Peza Director General Tereso O. Panga said the collaboration with RCBC “could streamline processes within the economic zones, making it more efficient and attractive for potential investors.”
On Tuesday, Peza signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with RCBC, one of the leading banks in the Philippines and SMBC, a global Japanese financial institution.
“Given the financial expertise of SMBC and RCBC, Peza gains leverage for the benefit of our locators and stakeholders, especially in starting up their business operations in the Philippines,” Panga added.
According to the Peza chief, this MOU is “targeted” to spur economic development—to help “continuously” position the country as an “attractive” investment destination.
“The concerted efforts of our esteemed Investment Promotion Partners [IPPs] will actively encourage and increase investments, especially those from Japanese companies,” Panga said.
For his part, Yuichi Nishimura, Managing Executive Officer of SMBC, expressed confidence that under President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s leadership, the Philippines is expected to become a “major growth driver” of Asia’s economy in coming years.
Despite the “rising geopolitical risk and uncertainty,” he said, “I am confident that there is no change to the close relationship between the Philippines and Japan.”
Nishimura also noted that Japanese investors accounted for a 30 percent share of PEZA’s investment approvals in 2023, and Japan continues to be the biggest investor in the Philippine special economic zones.
The SMBC official also expressed confidence that under the leadership of Panga, “I am confident that Director General Panga will lead the further development of the economic zones in the country and will expand the foreign direct investments from Japan and other countries.”
Peza earlier said it is targeting to grow investments from Japan by 20 percent in 2024, which could translate to around P70 billion to P80 billion in investments.
“The 20-percent increase in 2024 is our target growth this year and we are set to undertake increased investment promotions in Japan to target specifically their SMEs. We are collaborating for instance with the large and regional banks in Japan to help us with our target acquisitions and for networking with their valued clients,” Panga said earlier this month.
In 2023, the investment promotion agency noted it secured P52.2 billion worth of investments from the Japanese market alone while it clinched P17.7 billion in investments in 2022.
“Overall, they continue to be our biggest investors in the Peza zones,” Panga said.