PEZA: PH missing out on Japanese relocators

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    The Philippines is not capturing Japanese companies shifting from China to Asean despite the availability of subsidies from their government.

    Tereso Panga, deputy director-general of the Philippines Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) said in a forum 57 of the 87 Japanese firms that diversified their operations recently located or expanded elsewhere mostly in Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand.

    Citing reports, Panga said there are thousands more Japanese firms still based in China and which the Philippines hopes to capture should they decide to relocate.

    The diversification of Japan’s supply chain has been supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry with $2.2 billion worth of subsidies.

    In the same forum, Philippine ambassador Jose Laurel cited the need to address the competitiveness of the country as a location for investments to be able to catch these investments.

    Laurel said the grant of incentives may not be enough.

    Commercial counselor Dita Mathay of the Philippine trade office in Tokyo said nine Japanese companies have pre-qualified for the subsidies but have yet to comply with requirements to avail the subsidies.

    Nonetheless, Panga sees prospects in foreign direct investments (FDI)s in ecozone development particularly in projects with Japanese equity. These include projects of sthe First Philippine Industrial Park, Lima Technology Park, Light Industry and Science Park, West Cebu and Yazaki Torres whose proclamations are pending with the Office of the President.

    Panga also highlighted the continuous expansion of existing Japanese ecozone locators particularly in electronics and semiconductors, chemicals (oleo, activated carbon), automotive and automotive parts, computer and optical products, and transport and logistics;

    PEZA has registered 964 locator companies with Japanese equity generating a total investments of P727.7 billion and providing employment to 351,806 Filipinos.

    Japan is the country’s number one source of FDIs with 70 percent share or P22.2 billion out of total P31.8 billion approved for January to September 2021 in PEZA even amid pandemic. Irma Isip