Japan hikes investments in PH

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Saturday, December 1, 2012


JAPAN’S investment activities in the Philippines increased from 2010 to 2011, said Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe.

Urabe gave Cebu a high rating.

Japan and the Philippines are complementary economies, he said, because the Philippines provides workforce and natural resources for the development of Japan’s technology.

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“The situation is that Japan is interested in coming, which brings in capital and technology. Cebuanos contribute labor,” he said.

He said labor is not only physical but also in the form of talents, like computer designing.

In his talk at the University of San Carlos last Nov. 28, Urabe discussed the role of Japan in “Promoting Peace in the Asia-Pacific Region.”

He showed an increase in Japanese investment in the country for 2010 to 2011.

Of all foreign investments in the country, Japan has the biggest share, with 30 percent in 2010. The US is next to Japan at 28 percent.

“If you look at the concentration of investments, you see them concentrated around Manila and next concentration is here in Cebu,” Urabe said.

In 2009, Japan has 58 percent share among foreign direct investors in the Philippines.

The Philippine’s export activity to Japan also increased from 2010 to 2011.

Urabe’s presentation showed that the Philippines’s export to Japan in 2010 amounted to $7.84 billion. It increased to $8.88 billion in 2011.

Urabe also showed five Japanese business missions in the country for this year alone. These are Japan Public-Private Mission last February 2012; the PhilJec last March 2012; Keidanren Mission last March 2012; Osaka Mission last October 2012; and the Jetro Mission last month.

“Some people say the capital of the Philippines is here in Cebu,” Urabe told representatives from Cebu’s academe.

Urabe said peace in Mindanao will result in a more stable country, and Cebuanos will benefit from that.

Urabe is part of the international monitoring team (IMT) in the peace negotiations between Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine Government.

“The Mindanao peace process will foster more stability in the whole of the Philippines and will help peace and prosperity for Cebuanos. And that’s what we are doing in Mindanao,” he said.

He said there is also the ceasefire among warring forces in Mindanao and the protection of residents, which is being handled by the European Union.

“And we are in the social development side,” said Urabe.

Dubbed as J–Bird or Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development, the project has built 42 schools with 199 classrooms; five water stations; 10 training centers with 5,512 participants; a health center; a hospital; micro-credit projects; Central Mindanao road projects; irrigation and agricultural machinery, which include warehouses and solar dryers.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 02, 2012.

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