Investment News Analysis

The Japan connection – getting stronger

While many countries place the Philippines low down on their list for direct investment, Japan has no such qualms. To date its accumulated funds-flow to the country totals US$9.86 billion – US$3.43 billion ahead of its nearest rival, the United States. Now it intends to step it up even more.

The Japan External Trade Organization (Jetro) views the Philippines as its prime destination for investments from Japanese companies after China. Jetro’s “China Plus One Strategy” in effect refers to China plus the Philippines – a position previously held by both Thailand and Vietnam.

Prompted by the Mainland’s economic slowdown, the strategy encourages Japanese firms to diversify their investments outside China. Jetro Executive Vice President, Tatsuhiro Shindo, has stated that the Philippines is “on top of our list” and that his country’s outlook for the Philippines is “very positive and very favourable”.

The two countries signed an economic partnership agreement in 2006 and since then Japanese companies have been flocking in. Presently, according to the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, the archipelago is home to 1,700 of them.