Philippines dangles green, sustainable industries to Japanese investors

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is urging Japanese firms to invest in sustainable industries, including electric vehicles (EVs) and develop green metals like nickel, copper, and cobalt.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez made the call to Japanese firms during the recent virtual Philippine Economic Briefing organized by the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, DTI, and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Japan Center.

“We are positioning the Philippines as a regional manufacturing hub for EV and EV parts in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations). We recognize that the future of transportation will be autonomous, connected, electric and shared,”  Lopez said.

He said there are currently 54 manufacturers and importers in the country’s EV ecosystem, which include Japanese parts manufacturers and dealers Mitsubishi, Toyota Tsusho, Hitachi Metals, and Yazaki.

When it comes to green metals, he said there are investment opportunities in this mineral-rich country.

In particular, around nine million hectares or 30 percent of the country’s total land area has mineral potential and these resources could be developed and used for downstream industries like EV battery manufacturing, as well as for wiring harness production.

Lopez also presented other opportunities for Japanese firms in the country, particularly in the electronics and semiconductors, medical devices, automotive, aerospace, agribusiness, and construction sectors.

“With decades-long friendship and partnership, Japan has continued to be one of the country’s biggest trading partners and investors. The high participation response and strong business organizational support for this gathering is further proof that economic cooperation between Japan and the Philippines on sustainability is strategic, relevant and timely,” he said.

As of end-September, Japan remains the Philippines’ second major trading partner, third export market, and second import supplier.


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