PH economy expects to grow higher as more Japanese businesses look to invest

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The Philippine economy will look brighter next year as more Japanese companies show interest in the country’s manufacturing, power, construction, and food processing industries.

Dita Angara-Mathay, Commercial Counsellor at the Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Trade Investment Center in Tokyo, stated that there has recently been a significant increase in investment-related inquiries from Japanese firms.

“The inquiries now addressed to us are on opportunities related to electronics manufacturing, power generation, renewable energy, construction, and food processing,” Angara-Mathay spoke at the Philippine Economic Zone Authority’s Global Biz Forum (PEZA).

“We believe investors are coming back to the Philippines for new investment opportunities, driven by a consumer market that is buoyed by a growing population with growing disposable income that remains underserved,” she added.

In response to the increased interest, PEZA Director-General Charito Plaza stated that the organization intends to invite potential stakeholders and firms to better showcase the country’s ecozones.

“We are inviting Japan and partner stakeholders to come and invest in the Philippines. Having a Global Biz Forum with you is a timely discussion as this can pave the way to build linkages with potential local and foreign partners, as well as identify prospective locations in ecozones where you can establish your enterprises,” she further stated.

Plaza stated that Japanese firms will benefit from a variety of factors if they choose to invest in the Philippines, including a relatively young workforce that is fluent in English. Because the Philippines is a beneficiary of the European Union’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), they will also benefit from duty-free entry of certain products for trade. The country’s US GSP status is set to be renewed, removing tariffs on domestic exports.

According to Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko, the passage of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, which reduced the country’s corporate income tax rate, introduced changes to the incentives system, and other legislative measures aimed at encouraging foreign investment, bodes well for the country.

“It is highly anticipated that the changes brought about by these measures will lead to more active investments from Japan in the future,” Kazuhiko said.