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Gov’t investment target from Japan trip P150B

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. answers questions from the media after his first Cabinet meeting in Malacañan Palace, July 5, 2022. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

THE PHILIPPINES is expected to obtain P150 billion in investment pledges during President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s official visit to Japan.

“We are expecting that substantial returns in terms of new projects, the value of which we currently estimate at P150 billion, and we estimate too these will generate employment for 8,000 Filipinos,” Philippine Ambassador to Japan Mylene J. Garcia-Albano told ABS-CBN News Channel on Tuesday.

Ms. Albano said Mr. Marcos is set to meet executives from electronics, semiconductor, printer and wiring harness manufacturing companies.

Companies from these industries “comprise the bulk of our industrial relations with Japan,” she said, adding, “They will discuss how the private sector, the Japanese investor companies, the government and other stakeholders can work more closely together to ensure the success of these businesses in the Philippines.”

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Asia and Pacific Affairs Nathaniel Imperial in an earlier briefing said Mr. Marcos will be attending roundtable and business meetings, as well as a business conference to be held on Feb. 9 and 10.

Ms. Albano also noted the expected “signing of several letters of intent and agreements which are expected to significantly expand Japanese investments.”

Mr. Marcos is expected to sign seven key bilateral deals.

“During the visit, we anticipate the signing of seven key bilateral documents or agreements covering cooperation in infra development, defense, agriculture and information and communications technology — areas that are in the President’s priority agenda,” Mr. Imperial said.

The government is set to sign the exchange of notes on loan agreements for the North-South Commuter Railway project from Malolos, Bulacan to Clark International Airport, and from Manila’s Tutuban station to Calamba, Laguna.

“This will involve around $3 billion worth of loans that will be later signed also by the Department of Finance (DoF),” Mr. Imperial said.

Also on the list are agreements on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief cooperation between the Department of National Defense and its Japanese counterpart.

Japan is the only country with which the Philippines has a bilateral free trade agreement — the Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. Japan is the Philippines’ second-largest trading partner, third-largest export market and third-largest source of exports. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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