The Japanese economy has shown signs of recovery, despite the lingering impact of the pandemic, as the government focuses on “green and digitization” to create vibrant communities.

The government continues to support food, beverage and tourism businesses, as well as the livelihoods of those severely affected by the pandemic. It will lead bold regulatory reforms and review existing regimes to establish an economic structure that will serve as the foundation for future growth.

Japan has always been a major investor in the Philippines and has been a strong and important trading partner, especially in electronic and medical devices. Japan was the country’s second largest trading partner in 2020.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said: “Japan is our first export market and our second largest source of imports. the same period in 2020 with 8.56 billion dollars. “

More than 300 Japanese investors recently attended the Philippines Virtual Economic Briefing, where senior economic officials highlighted the promising prospects for the Philippine economy.

The economic briefing was hosted by international and Japanese financial group Sumitomo Mitsui, including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. (SMBC) and SMBC Nikko Securities, in collaboration with the Philippine Embassy in Japan, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Ministry of Finance (DoF), National Authority for Economy and Development (Neda) and Department of Commerce and industry (DTI).

The SMBC Group cited the benefits of doing business in the Philippines. SMBC operates a bank branch in Manila (SMBC Philippines), while SMBC Nikko Securities was the sole lead in the Philippine government’s Samurai bond issue last March.

Yasuyuki Kawasaki, Chairman and CEO of SMBC Nikko Securities, said, “Even in the midst of the pandemic, the Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) assigns an A- credit rating to the Philippines, which reflects the strength of l Philippine economy.

With SMBC Nikko as the arranger, the Philippines successfully issued their first zero coupon Samurai Bonds earlier this year. It shows the confidence of Japanese investors in the Philippines, which is one of the largest issuers in the Japanese debt capital market.

Ryuji Nishisaki, Senior Executive and Co-Head of Global Banking Unit at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., said: “SMBC Group considers the Philippines to be one of the most important countries in its expansion strategy. franchise in Asia. It opened a representative office in the Philippines in 1975, and since then it has provided financial services to Japanese and local clients through its long-standing cooperative relationship with Metrobank.

“We also acquired shares of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) in July of this year. We will continue to contribute to the economic growth of the Philippines by helping our Japanese clients invest in the country, ”said Nishisaki.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said Japanese investors can take advantage of opportunities in the financial sector. BSP actively pursues a “post-Covid-19 economy”, promoting financial digitization and sustainable finance. BSP’s commitment is to maintain price stability and a stable financial system that helps provide an environment conducive to business prosperity.

“The Philippines is not just aiming to regain what has been lost from the Covid crisis. We want a stronger, more technologically advanced, more sustainable and more inclusive ‘post-Covid-19 economy’ than ever before,” he said. -he declares.

Lopez presented investment opportunities in the Philippines for Japanese and foreign investors. He also underlined the valuable economic partnership between the Philippines and Japan.

Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua thanked Japan, the country’s largest bilateral development partner, for its continued support for the “Build, Build, Build” program.

Chua presented the Philippine economic and infrastructure stimulus program. “With the continued deployment of our immunization program, infrastructure will be critical to spur economic recovery, restore confidence and restore jobs,” he said.

Secretary Carlos Dominguez presented developments in the country’s tax sector, including the recent enactment of a landmark law streamlining the country’s corporate tax and tax incentive regime.

The Law on Business Recovery and Tax Incentives for Businesses (Create) provides for an immediate 10 percentage point reduction in corporate tax rates for micro, small and medium enterprises, from 30 to 20%. The other companies benefit from a reduction of 5 percentage points, from 30 to 25%. The Create Act provides flexibility in granting tax and non-tax incentives. It introduced an improved performance-based, time-bound, targeted and transparent incentive program.

Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V said: “Our bilateral and regional work continues in various sectors, such as infrastructure development, trade and investment, defense, security and maritime cooperation. , scientific and technological cooperation, human resource development and assistance in Mindanao. . “

“We hope that the spotlight on the Philippines will continue, especially on their economic performance and reforms,” ​​he added.

He highlighted the strong bilateral relations of the two countries and encouraged Japanese investors to consider the promising prospects of the Philippines and the various investment and trade opportunities.

Senior economic officials presented the country’s nascent economic recovery and medium to long-term growth prospects to more than 300 guests from Japanese businesses and financial institutions.

They showed the government’s efforts to push the Philippines towards a strong economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis in the short term, and further towards a much stronger and more inclusive economy in the post-Covid era.

The economic briefing aims to stimulate Japanese investment in the Philippines which will give impetus to the country’s recovery process.

Japan’s contribution to capacity development in the Philippines in 2021

Japan’s Immunization Facilitation spent 700 million yen in July on cold chain equipment for a smooth deployment of vaccines in the country.

Japan has also contributed to production and employment in the Philippines. It invested 5 billion yen to establish a new production headquarters for a range of cables, automotive, information and communications technology (ICT), medical services and energy industry .

A Japanese company is participating in a new public transport model project in Pasay. It featured a unified database for digital payment, traffic transaction control, and data collection and analysis. The company has contributed to a new mode of transport to reduce traffic jams. It will establish maintenance facilities for automatic rickshaws and implement contactless payment.

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