(From left) Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, Japan External Trade Organization president Yasushi Akahoshi, Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez, BDO president and CEO Nestor Tan, BSP Governor Ben Diokno and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Nestor Pernia during one of the panel discussions.
Philippines: Attractive destination for Japanese investors
THIS WEEK ON PEOPLEASIA - Babe Romualdez (The Philippine Star) - March 17, 2019 - 12:00am

The recent Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) conducted in Osaka, Japan was a great success, with Japanese investors continuing to show a high level of interest in the Philippines as an investment destination.

The country’s economic managers and “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure team — led by Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernie Pernia, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, former Budget Secretary and now Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Ben Diokno and Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo with Bases Conversion Development Authority president and CEO  Vince Dizon,  as well as Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat who joined the team, highlighted the vast investment opportunities presented by the Philippines as a result of the reforms being undertaken by the Duterte administration.

Transportation Secretary Art Tugade expounds on the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program.

Joining the government officials was a top-level business delegation that included former senator Manny Villar (now the country’s wealthiest man according to Forbes Magazine), Ramon Ang, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Nestor Tan, George Yang, Injap Sia, Tony Leviste and Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry chairman George Barcelon.

Some 180 investors attended the briefing, taking part in the open forum that followed the panel discussions participated in by Japan International Cooperation Agency senior vice president Yasushi Tanaka and Japan External Trade Organization president Yasushi Akahoshi, who disclosed that the Philippines is the ASEAN country where Japanese companies enjoy the highest profits.

Nestor Tan and Ayala Corp. chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

Dominguez emphasized the relentless reforms the administration is undertaking to improve the ease of doing business in the country, such as the passage of laws that simplify processes to cut transaction time with government agencies.

Villar Group chairman Manny Villar and McDonald’s Philippines’ George Yang.

“We have drastically cut the Foreign Investments Negative List to open more areas for foreign investments to participate in our growth,” Dominguez told the investors. He also stressed that the Philippines aspires to become the most hospitable economy for business, that the government encourages market transparency and respects the sanctity of contracts.

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat and Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar.

We must congratulate Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, who worked hard to make the event successful, underscoring the continually strengthening partnership that Japan and the Philippines have developed over the years.

Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel (back to the camera) with SMC president and COO Ramon Ang and Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry president George Barcelon.

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