3 Japanese firms eye PHP14.5-B investments in PHL

MANILA — Three Japanese companies are looking to invest some PHP14.5 billion in the Philippines, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said Thursday.

Lopez told reporters that Japanese shipbuilding company Tsuneishi is eyeing a PHP5-billion ship recycling facility that will use the latest internationally accredited green technology.

The investment is expected to generate some 6,000 jobs.

“Due to the very high quality of steel components of ocean-going vessels, the steel-recycling project will not only meet the country’s requirements for inter-island vessels for transport and logistics but also cover the steel requirements of major infrastructure work,” he said.

This prospective project of Tsuneishi is on top of the PHP10.2 billion projects — a PHP5.2-billion skid barge and ship re-use center in Negros Occidental and a PHP5-billion biomass fuel project in Mindanao — committed by the company during the state visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Japan in October last year.

The skid barge and ship re-use facility will create some 6,000 direct and indirect jobs while the biomass fuel project is projected to add 20,000 jobs.

“We shall continue to cooperate with Tsuneishi in the setting up and operations of the three projects,” said Lopez.

Lopez met with Tsuneishi President Kenji Kawano during the Philippine Economic Forum in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Aside from Kawano, the trade chief had discussions with Ichijo Ltd. President Tsuyoshi Miyachi, who bared a PHP2-billion expansion project in Cavite.

Ichijo, a manufacturer of prefabricated housing components, will construct a two-storey factory and warehouse and will create 600 additional jobs.

Currently, the company operates five facilities in its 100-hectare property at the Cavite Export Processing Zone with 25,000 employees.

Lopez mentioned that almost 100 percent of Ichijo’s prefab housing components manufactured in the Philippines, its lone overseas manufacturing facility, are exported to Japan.

With the competitiveness of its Philippine-made products, Lopez encouraged Ichijo to also cater to the local market for quality and cost-effective mass housing.

“They might also be marketable in the country. I also urged Ichijo to step up its research and development activities in the country, as Filipinos are the country’s best resource and easily among the most talented and hardworking in the world,” he added.

Lopez said another Japanese company, which declined to be named, is also targeting to invest about PHP7.5 billion, creating 20,000 jobs.

The Japanese company is already operating in the country and the project is part of its expansion plan here. Kris Crismundo/PNA-northboundasia.com