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Japan to become top source of investments

The Philippines expects increased foreign direct investments mostly from Japan next year, as Tokyo companies committed to go into local manufacturing, banking and power projects.


Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo said the Philippines ranked high on the list of Japanese investments and that Japan wanted to increase trade and investment opportunities here.

“Our cooperation with Japan has reached new heights. We are privileged to have their trust and we intend to further strengthen our relations with them in the years to come. For now, I can say that we are on top of their priorities,” he said.

Domingo cited three major factors that Japanese investors are looking for in the Philippines—good economy, conducive environment for business and friendly people.

The Philippines’ traditional competitors like Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia remain in Japan’s list of preferred investment sites “but the Philippines is the apple of their eyes for now,” Domingo said.

The government said with the strong interest of Japan in the Philippines, it may rise as the top foreign investor in 2014.

“In terms of projects and jobs creation, it will be dominated by the Japanese [in 2014],” Domingo said.

The Trade Department expects foreign direct investments to reach $4.8 billion in 2014, up 20 percent from this year’s target of $4 billion.

The Board of Investments earlier said approved investments in 2013 likely rose 12 percent to P403.17 billion from P360.35 billion in 2012.

Power projects dominated the list of approved investments this year with P257.74 billion.

Foreign investment pledges accounted for 26 percent or P104.93 billion. Investments from foreign sources increased 42 percent from the previous year’s P74 billion.

Leading the list of foreign sources is the British Virgin Islands with investments worth P45.8 billion, or 44 percent of foreign investments in 2013.

The bulk of the investment pledges came from Energy City Philippines Holdings Inc., the proponent of a liquefied natural gas storage facility in Bataan, with an investment pledge of P45.65 billion.

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