THE Department of Trade and Investments is encouraging more investments from Japan, one of the country’s biggest sources of foreign direct investments until last year when fund flows started to plunge.
“The Philippines is on an economic breakout. It is the perfect time to invest and do business in our country, which has a 6.8% GDP growth and an 8% growth in manufacturing industry. We are the best country to invest in,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez was quoted in a statement on Monday.
The official was speaking at an event attended by over 400 Japanese manufacturing companies during a series of Investment Seminars on July 25-28.
Manufacturing is one of the priority industries under DTI’s Inclusive, Innovation-led, Industrial Strategy which covers and eyes other sectors for growth, including electronics, automotive, shipbuilding, aerospace, and furniture.
“We are very keen in engaging with Japan, especially on the aspect of manufacturing and innovation, and how we can work together to strengthen not only manufacturing but the MSMEs in their value chain as well,” Mr. Lopez added.
According to the official, Japan is the top source of foreign investments in the country and has been providing technical assistance that can facilitate more trade and investments through the Japan International Cooperation Agency and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).
However, preliminary data from JETRO also show that total January to March investments to the Philippines slumped $104 million, well below the $1 billion logged in the comparable period last year.
In 2017, Japan’s investments brought into the Philippines plunged 56.28% to $1.014 billion from $2.31 billion.
The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry had attributed this drop to uncertainty from ongoing legislative discussions over the second package of the Duterte administration’s tax-reform program. — J.C. Lim