PH gets P184B investment pledges from Japanese companies

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.(Photo from Bongbong Marcos Facebook)

PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. touted on Monday, December 18, 2023, the over P184 billion worth of investment pledges as a fruit of his visits in Japan.

In his message upon arrival in the country from his attendance to the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit in Tokyo, Japan, Marcos said Japanese investors reported that over P169.7 billion in capital was funneled to the Philippine economy which generated 9,700 new jobs in the Philippines.

Presidential Adviser on Investment and Economic Affairs Frederick Go said it was the actualized investment from Marcos’ trip to Japan in February.

Marcos said during his recent trip in Japan, nine new letters of intent and memorandum of understanding (MOUs) were signed valued at P14.5 billion in investment which is seen to provide 15,750 additional jobs for Filipino workers.

“I’m also pleased to update that the letters of intent and MOUs signed in February 2023 together with those signed during this visit, total now P771.6 billion or approximately US$14 billion in pledges from Japanese investors,” Marcos said.

“This significant investment is anticipated to create around 40,200 jobs, marking a positive and promising development for our collaborative efforts,” he added.

During the summit and other related events, the leaders of ASEAN member countries and discussed the future of ASEAN-Japan relations and emphasized the need for ASEAN to have an active role in maintaining peace, security, and stability in the region.

A free and open Indo-Pacific region was also advocated, guided by the shared fundamental principles as enshrined in the United Nations (UN) Charter and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

The need to promote respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, settlement of differences or dispute through peaceful means, and renunciation of threat or use of force was also highlighted in the discussions.

Marcos said he urged all the stakeholders for proactive engagement to resolve the “worsening plight of the people in Myanmar” through the 5-Point Consensus, the United Nations mechanisms, as well as the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre).

He reiterated the country’s commitment that the Philippines as a permanent country coordinator for ASEAN-Japan economic relations will continue to shepherd ASEAN initiatives and projects, not only to co-create a region of economic prosperity but also an inclusive society that is ready for the future.

While in Japan, the Philippine delegation signed two Memoranda of Cooperation (MOC), one between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan in the field of environmental protection and the other one between the coast guards of the Philippines and Japan.

Marcos also attended the Asia Zero Emissions Community (AZEC) Leaders’ Meeting, where he apprised AZEC partner countries on the current Philippine initiatives towards promoting clean energy transition.

“I highlighted our experience in promoting clean energy projects such as first wind farms in Southeast Asia in 2003 during my term as governor of Ilocos Norte,” Marcos said.

“And I invited AZEC partners including Japan to invest in the Philippine renewable energy industry to achieve not only the intention of the AZEC but also the overall goal of the Paris Agreement,” he added.

RAA

Meanwhile, Marcos said he and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida agreed to immediately finalize the discussion on the planned Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA), stressing that the Philippines will continue to talk with other like-minded nations to resolve the issue in the South China Sea.

The RAA is similar to the Visiting Forces Agreement between the United States and the Philippines which allows US forces to visit the country temporarily for military exercises and provide humanitarian and disaster-response assistance.

It is expected to greatly boost maritime cooperation between the two countries as the proposed RAA will facilitate the procedures and set guidelines when Philippine forces visit Japan for training and joint exercises, and vice versa.

“This is one of the products of that. We also have the same kind of negotiations or discussions with many other countries. We’ll continue to do that para maraming tumutulong sa atin, sa problemang hinaharap natin sa South China Sea,” said Marcos.

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