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Business

Japanese firms keen on investing in Philippines

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Japanese companies are keen on investing in the Philippines, but the government needs to address obstacles such as infrastructure gaps, high transport and power costs, for funds to be poured in here, officials of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) said.

Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines Inc. executive director Nobuo Fujii told reporters that aside from the obstacles to investments cited, Japanese firms would also want the Philippine government to keep the current incentives being offered.

“We want existing rules,” he said noting that the government is considering changes to the incentive scheme as it moves to rationalize all fiscal perks granted to investors.

In a press conference, Akio Mimura, chairman of the JCCI and head of the organization’s business mission which arrived on Wednesday, said Japanese firms are interested in investing in the Philippines given its positive economic prospects and young workforce.

“This (young workforce) is the big strength of Filipino society. For any country, the power of growth comes from the number of working population. This country is filled with growth potential and strength,” he said.

Apart from the country’s young population with a median age of 23 years old, he said the Filipinos’ work ethic also makes the Philippines an attractive location for business.

While Japanese firms are interested in making investments here, key concerns need to be addressed.

JCCI special advisor Ken Kobayashi said one of the major obstacles hindering Japanese firms from making investments here is the lack of infrastructure.

“There is no doubt about infrastructure being the obstacle. To solve this, PPP (Public-Private Partnership) is not the only answer. There are certain roles government will have to take. There are risks private sector cannot take,” he said.

Apart from the lack of necessary infrastructure such as airports, sea ports and roads, Mimura said the high transportation costs here are also among the concerns of Japanese investors.

The high power costs and issues on supply are likewise seen as obstacles in making investments here.

Mimura said the concerns were raised during the JCCI’s meeting with President Aquino.

Based on the discussions, he said the government is aware of the obstacles faced by firms looking to invest here and such are being addressed.

 

AKIO MIMURA

JAPAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

JAPANESE

JAPANESE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY OF THE PHILIPPINES INC

KEN KOBAYASHI

MIMURA

NOBUO FUJII

PRESIDENT AQUINO

PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP

WHILE JAPANESE

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