Japanese firm eyes USD17-B infrastructure, utility projects in PHL

MANILA — Marubeni Corp. is eyeing infrastructure and utility projects in the Philippines, according to a document which Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez shared with Manila-based reporters.

Lopez joined President Rodrigo Duterte’s three-day official visit to Japan which concluded Thursday.

The Japanese company plans to invest USD3.2 billion for the short term, and another USD14 billion in the medium to long term, in such projects as mass transport systems, roads, highways, water, and power.

Moreover, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. — the first foreign bank granted with a license after the country liberalized its banking sector — has committed to continue its expansion in the Philippines.

The Japanese External Trade Organization (JETRO) likewise expressed its commitment to increase the import of products from the Philippines.

In a statement, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) said it signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Department of Trade and Industry reinforcing its participation in the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program.

“Receiving approval to participate in the CARS Program from the DTI affirms the over 50 years of contribution to the development of the Philippine automobile industry. It is my hope that MMPC (Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp.) not only promotes employment in the Philippines but also contributes to the overall development of the economy,” said MMC Chairman, President, and CEO Osamu Masuko.

Meanwhile, Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corp. has reconfirmed its support for the CARS Program.

Other business deals that were signed during President Duterte’s trip to Japan include:

Tsuneishi’s ship reuse center in Negros Occidental and a biomass fuel project;

Minebea Mitsumi’s expansion project for optical image stabilizers for smartphone;

Ise Foods’ joint venture for a state-of-the-art egg factory;

Farmind’s plan to buy 20 million boxes of Cavendish bananas;

Sumifru Agricultural Development, Inc., a trader of Cavendish bananas;

PUES/E-Vehicle Association for a feasibility study for an electric vehicle project that will be funded by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry;

Centro Manufacturing/Nippon Freuhauf for the production of wing van body seats for trucks;

Ayala/Mitsubishi for a joint venture of solar rooftop project; and

Bases Conversion and Development Authority/Hitatchi/PowerGrid for a feasibility study of Clark Green City’s energy management system, district cooling system, energy storage and distributed energy resources, and total energy network system.

The business deals signed between the Philippines and Japan amounted to USD1.85 billion, which is expected to generate 250,000 jobs over the years. Kris Crismundo/PNA-northboundasia.com