Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently committed to the Philippines loan funds amounting to 1-trillion-yen or P440-billion in financing and investment. The large influx of financial aid has prompted many Japanese businessmen to gear up for utilization of these funds.
According to analysts from the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. (BTMU), a global project financing giant, many companies have been preparing funds and joint ventures after Prime Minister Abe’s pledge. Many of these Japanese firms have been looking for local partners.
Many Japanese investors, particularly in the construction and infrastructure clusters, are trying to get investments in the Philippines. These efforts followed when Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his administration’s commitment to developing the country’s local infrastructure sector.
The pledge from Japan amounting to 1 trillion yen will launch projects to promote economic growth through fast-paced infrastructure projects in the next 5 years.
Japan is Biggest Investor in the Philippines
According to Futae, a Singapore-based company which is exploring investments in the Philippines said that Japan’s investment is the biggest in the country and an opportunity that private companies should not miss.
He said, “This is one of Japan’s largest investment directed at a single country and we really want to be part of this project. MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group—of which BTMU is part of) is very committed to supporting Asia’s growth.”
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The general manager of BTMU, Tadahiro Miyamoto, said that Japanese government units are interested in investing in the automotive sector. This is after the launch of the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) by the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry.
Other regional analysts believe that Japan’s strategy of establishing closer ties with the Philippines is because Japan would like to focus on China’s allies and later on improve trade relations with China.
Rahul Bajoria, the regional economist at Barclays in Singapore, said, “It could be a factor of trying to balance the recent improvement in ties with China — that could be one of the things that might be on Japan’s mind.” – BusinessNewsAsia.com