Japan’s seven major conglomerates have expressed interest in investing a combined P198.5 billion in energy, mining, agriculture, automotive and infrastructure projects in the Philippines, the Trade Department said Monday.
The Trade Department said these sogo shoshas or Japanese companies with a broad range of business activities included Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui and Co. Ltd., Sumitomo Corp., Itochu Corp., Marubeni Corp., Toyota Tsusho and Sojitz Corp.
“Through sound and consistent macroeconomic policies, the country continues to attract serious investments. The fundamentals are there in terms of a fast-growing economy, a 109-million population base, standing trade agreements, and a young, talented, and dedicated work force,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
“All these”•plus political will and focused trade and investment policies”•act as a magnet for foreign investments,” said Lopez.
He said the sogo shoshas were willing to pursue additional investments until 2020.
Marubeni expressed interest to invest in coal power plants worth P75 billion over the medium term while Itochu and Sumitomo, through Philippine subsidiaries Dole and Sumifru respectively, were willing to invest an additional P12.9 billion in 2018 to expand their integrated farming projects in Mindanao by 2018.
Sumitomo, Sojitz, and Mitsui jointly invested P80 billion in Coral Bay Nickle Corp. and Taganito High Pressure Acid Leaching Nickel Corp. in Surigao and Palawan.
Another ongoing investment in the Philippines is the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy that has the support and participation of Mitsubishi, Sojitz, Mitsui and Toyota Tsusho.
Lopez said the seven trading houses were also keenly interested in the Philippines’ “golden age of infrastructure,” specifically in prailway and subway projects, the Clark Green City, the expanded port and RoRo building programs and airport development projects.
The Philippine government asked the Japanese trading houses to use their expansive business systems to help in planning an efficient set of economic infrastructure, such as farm-to-market roads, bridges, seaports, airports, railways for cargo, passengers and RoRo vessels and service providers
“With DTI’s inclusive business model, our resource-based country has the potential to become a major supplier to the world by fostering value chain linkages and partnerships between the MSMEs as suppliers of goods and services, and the large enterprises as buyers,” Lopez said.
The government assured investors that with public sector agencies rigidly adhering to zero corruption program, the investment projects would receive adequate protection and fair treatment.