Philippine Standard Time - Tuesday, May 21, 2024,

PEZA champions growing Japanese investments in the Philippines through a recently-concluded Tokyo Outbound Mission

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Tokyo, Japan — Following the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) last January 2024, SMBC hosted an Economic Seminar focused on briefing its Japanese corporate clients of investment opportunities in the Philippines, particularly in the economic zones under PEZA.

Director General Tereso O. Panga served as the keynote speaker alongside a reputable all-Filipino speaker line up composed of Ambassador of Philippines to Japan H.E. Mylene De Joya Garcia-Albano, former Trade and Industry and Finance Secretary and currently SMBC Global Advisor Cesar Purisima, and RCBC Chief Economist Michael Montero.

With around 140 participants, Director General Panga provided an overview of PEZA and its ecozones. The presentation highlighted PEZA economic zones as the optimal location with its business ecosystem for potential investors, emphasizing PEZA’s renowned one-stop-shop function and the country’s advantages as an attractive manufacturing hub for Japanese companies.

At the sidelines of the forum, the PEZA delegation led by DG Panga participated in several business-to-business meetings held in Tokyo and Shizuoka which involved the likes of several big industry players such as Tsuneishi, FCC, SIIX Corporation, and IMES, as well as Japanese MSME TOM’S Manufacturing.

Tsuneishi, a longstanding PEZA investor since 1994, shared that it is ready for its fifth phase of expansion which will cover several big-ticket projects such as its new wood pelletizing business and manufacturing of the world’s first methanol-fueled TEU container carriers. In its 29-year operations in the Philippines, the company has seen four re-expansions since it first started its shipbuilding business in Balamban, Cebu, growing from a modest 25-hectare footprint to now having a 170-hectare-proclaimed area. The company is also known for consistently increasing its employment, from employing 300 workers in its first entry to now being responsible for around 10,000 direct and subcontracted workers.

DG Panga also met with SIIX Corp. led by its President Koji Yanase. SIIX, a Japanese Electronics Manufacturing Services provider ranked #17 in the world by Manufacturing Market Insider, was invited by PEZA to expand their core business operations in the Philippines in the near future. The Director General thanked Yanase for the continued presence of SIIX in the Philippines since 1957 and is hopeful that it will consider the invitation of PEZA to include the Philippines in its expansion program.

Lastly, FCC Co., Ltd., led by its President Yoshitaka Saito, shared that the company expects its Philippine operations to grow in the next few years, involving several projects such as the manufacturing of scooter clutch for major customers, production of paper ceramics for other electronics component manufacturers, and investment in new advanced technology businesses that will involve the assembly line for scooters, lining molding line, and weight line. In addition to its core business, FCC is likewise looking at incorporating new businesses such as the promotion of a circular economy in the Philippines through the use of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) for water filtration and production of solid biomass fuel. To date, FCC has consistently dominated the global market share of motorcycle clutches and is considered as one of the biggest players in automotive clutches.

Japan stands as PEZA’s largest investor, contributing to a 28% share in total investments, generating PhP 798 billion, $16.3 billion in exports, and creating 342,845 direct jobs across 877 PEZA-registered business enterprises (RBE).