Economic team in Japan to pursue infrastructure deals
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - February 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A high-level Philippine delegation is scheduled to visit Osaka, Japan starting today to discuss with Japanese officials ways to further expand economic cooperation between the two countries, particularly on infrastructure development and peace-building measures in Mindanao.

The Philippine team, led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, will be attending the 7th meeting of the Philippines-Japan High-Level Joint Committee on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation scheduled today.

According to the Department of Finance (DOF), both countries are expected to discuss the progress of infrastructure projects under the Duterte administration’s Build Build Build which are proposed for financing support from Japan.

Philippine officials are also set to update their Japanese counterparts on the ongoing peace process in Mindanao, following the approval of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which will clear the way for the creation of a new Bangsamoro region.

Japan, for its part, will report on its observation mission during the Bangsamoro plebiscite and propose additional areas of cooperation to assist in the Philippines’ peace-building programs in Mindanao, the DOF said.

Following the meeting, economic managers, together with the Build Build Build team, will also hold a Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) tomorrow.

Dominguez and other officials from the DOF will also visit the National Tax College Osaka Training Center to learn from the institution and gain inputs on how to transform the Philippine Tax Academy in Manila into a premier tax knowledge center and an effective training arm for state officials and employees in taxation.

According to the DOF, the Duterte administration has secured ¥398.82 billion (or about P189.92 billion) in loans from Japan since 2016 to fund nine projects in the fields of infrastructure, agriculture and marine safety,

Among those signed by the two countries include the loan agreement for the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the Philippine Coast Guard (Phase II) and the Harnessing Agribusiness Opportunities through Robust and Vibrant Entrepreneurship Supportive of Peaceful Transformation.

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