By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
A number of Japanese companies are keen on investing an estimated $1.24 billion in new and expansion projects led by a $250-million large-scale poultry venture, according to Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.
The DTI chief led a business mission to Japan last week where he met Japanese firms engaged in the areas of manufacturing, agriculture, retail, real estate, automotive, as well as education.
These new projects are expected to generate 16,000 jobs in the country, according to Lopez.
“These expansion projects and new investments are proof that foreign companies have strong confidence in our country’s economic stability and business environment under the Duterte administration. They wish to grow their business and partner with us in providing more jobs and opportunities for Filipinos,” said Lopez.
The biggest among these investors is the planned $250 million large scale poultry farm project of ISE Food.
ISE Food Chairman Hikonobu Ise shared with Lopez their recent deal with Filipino companies in putting up a large-scale poultry farm composed of five integrated farms, which will have six million layers.
The farm will employ and train Filipino workers on the latest technology in poultry farming and fortified egg production. “Total investment for this project amounts to $250 million and is expected to offer 1,000 jobs,” Lopez said.
Mitsubishi Corporation’s joint venture project worth $76 million with a Filipino real estate company will offer affordable housing. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.’s investment worth $5.3 million paved the way for the inauguration of the Magsaysay Maritime – Mitsui O.S.K. Lines’ Maritime Academy in Dasmarinas.
Itochu Corporation, through their subsidiary Dolefil, is investing in a waste-to-energy project worth $19.2 million that will convert pineapple waste into biogas. This joint venture with Metro Pacific Investment Corporation will produce electricity that can replace 20% of their yearly grid requirement.
Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Inc., will also invest in a $46 million manufacturing facility that will produce wire harness systems for auto vehicles, expected to generate 13,000 employment opportunities. The company is currently looking for a possible location of their factory. Sec. Lopez offered BOI’s assistance and committed to provide a list of candidate locations suitable for their requirements.
During a business forum organized by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Tokyo, Lopez met with high level representatives of select Japanese companies to discuss expansion intentions as well as ongoing economic reforms in the Philippines.
Sumitomo Corporation’s Ryota Yoshimura conveyed the expansion plans of First Philippine Industrial Park as it sees an increase in demand from the industrial park tenants. Itochu Corporation General Manager Jumpei Kakinuma inquired on the ongoing negotiations in the tariff rates of banana and other Philippine agricultural products entering the Japanese market.
NIDEC Corporation First Vice President Go Watanabe conveyed their company’s interest to establish an Automation Team in the Philippines that will be in charge in the mass production of devices for robots.
Isetan Mitsukoshi Senior Managing Executive Officer Takuya Matsuo expressed optimism in the growing domestic market in PH and said they are eyeing expansion in the country. Mr. Matsuo said that they plan to open a Japanese retail concept mall in PH. Sec. Lopez said this plan will be beneficial for Filipino and Japanese small and medium enterprises.
Nomura Managing Executive Officer Masaomi Katayama expressed their interest in expanding the company’s real estate development operations in PH. Nomura is partnering with Isetan Mitsukoshi that will build Mitsukoshi malls in the country. According to Mr. Katayama, they are currently looking for possible sites in Cebu or Davao that will offer 1,400 housing units as well as 30,000 retail spaces.
Tescom Denki Chief Executive Officer Toshiya Kasuno acknowledged the labor force quality as well as the growing market for beauty care products in PH. The company executive conveyed their plan to establish a manufacturing facility for beauty care products and appliances.