THE Board of Investments (BoI) said Japanese investors are attracted by the liberalization program underway in the Philippines, but expressed concerns regarding ease of doing business issues.
In a statement on Thursday, the BoI said that 15 Japanese investors expressed optimism about the opening up of key Philippine industries and the economic outlook and trade policies at the 10th Consultative Group meeting for the Philippines-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.
It added that Daisuke Nihei, minister for economic affairs of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines cited the amendments to the Foreign Investment Act, Retail Trade Liberalization Act, Public Service Act as well as the Renewable Energy Act as the Philippines’ economic highlights.
“We saw the strong commitment of the Philippine government in attracting foreign investors,” the BoI quoted Mr. Nihei as saying.
However, the Japanese investors raised concerns in the Philippine business environment such as the value-added tax refund system, tax incentives under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, and the application process for the transfer of assets in an economic zone, among others.
The investors also cited concerns about restrictions on accrediting contractors and the export controls on the mining industry.
In a separate statement, Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director General Tereso O. Panga said it is bullish on attracting more Chinese investors.
“With our robust economic performance and aggressive investment strategy, we are bullish on attracting more Chinese investment, especially in our ecozones, which can provide the best business ecosystem for our investors,” Mr. Panga said.
Philippine Ambassador to China Jaime A. FlorCruz said many Chinese investors have expressed interest in locating in the Philippines.
“In the past six months since I took this role as Ambassador, I have met many Chinese executives actively seeking investment opportunities across numerous industries in the Philippines. Many are now poised to invest in the Philippines,” Mr. FlorCruz said.
To date, a total of 164 Chinese companies and projects are registered with PEZA and have generated P25.82 billion worth of investments as of May. They have created 16,221 direct jobs as of March. — Justine Irish D. Tabile