Ambassador Laurel urges Japanese businessmen to invest in PH

Published May 15, 2021, 12:04 PM

by Raymund Antonio

The “Make It Happen in the Philippines” campaign and the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act will help foreign investors expand their markets when they invest in the country, Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose C. Laurel V told Japanese businessmen.

The envoy spoke before a forum organized by the Embassy of the Philippines and the International Friendship Exchange Council on Friday, May 14, to invite Japanese investors to look at how they can partner with the Philippines.

The FEC Business Forum attended by chief executives of Japanese companies. (Tokyo PE photo)

Laurel took the opportunity to update company presidents and C-level executives on the developments in the country.

“For many years now, the Philippines and Japan have enjoyed robust and stable relations across a broad range of sectors. Japan continues to be a major trading and foreign investment partner as well as the top source of development assistance for the Philippines,” he said.

Laurel spoke of the “Make It Happen in the Philippines” as an investment campaign, which emphasizes “our ‘make it work’ mindset to assist investors achieve their expansion plans.”

“I invite our Japanese friends to take a closer look at how you can partner with the Philippines,” the envoy added.

The Philippine Board of Investment (BOI) launched in November last year the new investment campaign to attract investments and highlight the Philippines’ potentials to be an “ideal business destination in Asia.”

Commercial Counsellor Maria Bernardita A. Mathay, who presented the Philippine Investment Opportunities for Japanese companies during the forum, also talked about the recent passage of the CREATE Act.

The CREATE Act will bring “the Philippines’ corporate tax rate closer to its ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) peers and enhances the country’s fiscal incentives to help attract more foreign direct investments.”

The main feature of the CREATE Act is the reduction of the country’s corporate income tax rate, which was once the highest in ASEAN.

“From July 2020 to 2022, foreign companies will be eligible for a reduction in the corporate income tax (CIT) rate to 25 percent compared to the regular rate of 30 percent — the highest in ASEAN,” a briefing by ASEAN said about the CREATE Act.

The passage of the law is a “quick answer” to the economic issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The CREATE Act was previously named the Corporate Income Tax, and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA), which was approved in 2019.