JPECC, AJC organize PH investment seminar in Tokyo

IN LINE with the goal of President Benigno S. Aquino III to make the Philippines “very desirable to business”, the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo together with the Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee (JPECC) and the ASEAN-Japan Centre (AJC) organized a Philippine Investment Seminar at the Tokyo Kaikan on February 1.

Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory L. Domingo and Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras spearheaded the Philippine Investment Seminar.

The seminar was held to inform the Japanese business community of the investment environment and opportunities under President Benigno Aquino III’s administration and to encourage Japanese firms to continue taking part in the country’s economic resurgence.

On hand to provide support was Philippine Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez who delivered the welcome remarks.

JPECC Co-Chairman Toshitaka Hagiwara led the Japanese side. The JPECC is an organization of Japanese businessmen with investments in the Philippines.

Around 300 members of the Japanese business community attended.

Secretary Domingo informed the Japanese community that it is easier to do business now in the Philippines because of the President’s directive to cut red tape, to provide competitive incentives and assistance, to reduce corruption and to improve infrastructure. He likewise discussed the public-private sector partnerships (PPP).

He recommended to the export-oriented businesses to consider investing in the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Special Economic Zones.

Meanwhile, Secretary Almendras provided information on investment opportunities in the energy sector, highlighting renewable and green energy.

The seminar is the culmination of a two-day PPP roadshow to Japan led by Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, with Secretaries Domingo and Almendras and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo.

The Philippine delegates met with heads of Japanese companies and Japanese officials during the roadshow.

A separate meeting was held between the JPECC and the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJECC), a group of leading Philippine businessmen with interests in Japan on February 2.

Japan is one of the Philippines’ most valued economic partners.

It is the country’s second largest trading partner and export market accounting for 16.17 percent (or US$6.20 billion) of Philippines exports in 2009.

Japan ranks as the Philippines’ second top investor.  In 2009, foreign direct investment (FDI) from Japan hit P70.7 billion, or 58.1 percent of total FDIs.

Furthermore, the Philippines and Japan signed the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) – the Philippines’ first and only bilateral Free Trade Agreement.

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