THE Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Japan Centre (AJC) to promote tourism and trade between the Philippines and Japan.  

“This partnership is in line with PEZA’s initiatives to strengthen the promotion of investments in the Philippines while at the same time bolstering its trade and economic partnership with Japan and the other ASEAN countries,” said PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza in a statement.  

“Clearly, our MoU will allow us to better cope with the demands of our stakeholders by providing them with the necessary resources that would enable them to make timely and [wise] investment decisions,” AJC Secretary General Kunihiko Hirabayashi said. 

Under the agreement, both parties will collaborate through seminars, roundtable discussions, information exchanges, and other activities. 

“This partnership is vital as we continue to encourage existing enterprises to expand their businesses and further explore investment opportunities in our country,” said Mr. Plaza. 

PEZA said the partnership will help fully industrialize the country by addressing efficiency issues. 

“In line with PEZA’s Transformation Road Map, we aim partner with various agencies like AJC to create a pool of experts and specialists on investment promotions and ecozone development to assist the public and private sector and the LGUs in putting up ecozones and to address the skills needed by our registered companies,” Mr. Plaza said. 

Meanwhile, AJC said it hopes to facilitate the flow of investments to the ASEAN to boost the livelihood of marginalized sectors of society, including women and the disabled. 

“I’m certain that AJC’s partnership with PEZA will create a synergy that will carry us through this new phase of economic development,” Mr. Hirabayashi said. 

To date, there are 962 Japanese companies registered with PEZA contributing P727.68 billion in investments and $11.07 billion in exports. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson