TOKYO, Japan — Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said several investments sealed between the Philippines and Japan during President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s official working visit are "ready to go," and the ball is now in the hands of the Philippine government.
Pascual said this after 35 key deals were signed between the Philippine and Japanese governments and business leaders on Feb. 10 and were witnessed by Marcos himself.
In an interview on the sidelines of a send-off dinner hosted by Toyota Motors for Marcos' official delegation here, the Trade chief said some were already registered with the Board of Investments (BOI)
“May mga iba ready to go. May mga iba registered na sa BOI, na dinocument (Some are ready to go. SOme are already registered with the BOI, already documented) to meet the investments," he said Saturday, Feb. 11.
"And there are those that plans... over the time horizon I've heard from those Japanese investments I've talked to, goes to as long as three years. Normally that's the time frame within which big investments are made," he added.
Pascual noted as an example Japanese carmaker Toyota, which earlier bared to bring back its popular Tamaraw model to the Philippine market.
However, he said that the government has to intensify its digitalization efforts as it could solve bottlenecks that drive investors out of the Philippines.
"We really need the digitalization process not only to expedite the process but also to have a common database that can be used across the government structure from the government level to the national level," Pascual said.
President Marcos' official working visit to Tokyo has drawn an "unprecedented number" of business delegates from Japan and the Philippines. On Friday, the President encouraged Japanese investors to consider the Philippines an ideal investment destination.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) noted 240 Philippine companies and 1,300 Japanese firms, composed of 3,472 businessmen, registered for the meetings held in Tokyo, where a wide range of cooperation was sealed between the Philippine and Japanese governments and business leaders.