President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. shakes hands with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida after a joint press conference in Tokyo, Feb. 9, 2023. — COURTESY OF PRESIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE

MOST OF THE investment pledges extracted from Japan are expected to materialize within the next two or three years, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.   

Trade Assistant Secretary Glenn G. Peñaranda said in a televised briefing on Tuesday that 21 deals secured by the Philippines will materialize in the next three years, adding that many of the Japanese investment pledges are related to manufacturing.   

Mr. Peñaranda said that of the 35 deals signed by Japan and the Philippines, 33 involved investments while the others were a cooperation agreement between the DTI and the Japan External Trade Organization and a $681,339 grant to the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network for small and medium enterprises.   

“So (of) the 33 agreements, most of them are manufacturing and then their timelines are within the next three years,” Mr. Peñaranda said.   

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said on Feb. 12 that the Philippines obtained $13 billion worth of investment pledges and contributions after his five-day official visit to Japan.   

He added that the commitments from Japanese companies have the potential to generate over 24,000 jobs.   

Dita Angara-Mathay, DTI commercial counselor and special trade representative in Tokyo, said in a separate virtual briefing that some projects could materialize in as little as “a year or two years.”  

However, she said that some of the bigger deals such as those related to mass transport and infrastructure would take longer. 

“Hopefully, most of them will be finished during the incumbency of this President,” Ms. Angara-Mathay said.   

Meanwhile, Mr. Peñaranda said that the DTI is still tallying the value of investment deals during the Japan visit of Mr. Marcos.   

He added that the investment pledges are from companies in the electronics, automobile, auto parts, renewable energy, software development, telecommunications, infrastructure, agriculture, property development, wiring harness, and printer industries.   

“We are not done counting because there are still many business interests that we are waiting to receive information from, and the visit of the President has generated increased interest in the country,” Mr. Peñaranda said.   

Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said in a separate statement on Tuesday that the agreements signed with Japanese businesses will put the Philippines in better position to pursue bilateral trade deals.   

“These (agreements)… promote our industries in Japan. We will be able to do so while learning from the new technology and innovations that Japanese companies use, which Filipinos can adopt and employ to improve service delivery,” Mr. Pascual said.   

Separately, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Officer-in-Charge Tereso O. Panga said that more Japanese locators are expected following the Presidential visit to Japan.    

“We are expecting more Japanese business partners and companies to come as the President continues to market the Philippines hand-in-hand with us in PEZA, the Board of Investments (BoI), and other investment promotions agencies (IPAs),” Mr. Panga said.   

Mr. Panga added that 884 Japanese companies are registered with PEZA, accounting for P745.64 billion or 27.42% of total PEZA-generated investment.   

“Japan has been the leading country in investing in the Philippine economic zones… We have received more inquiries from interested Japanese companies who will greatly add to the exports of the Philippines,” Mr. Panga said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave