The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez has urged Japanese firms to invest in the Philippines as opportunities for manufacturing, construction, and energy remain high despite the pandemic.

In a virtual Philippine economic briefing for Japanese companies Tuesday, Lopez said Japanese investors may look into opportunities in the production of semiconductor and electronic goods, as well as manufacturing of medical devices.

“Medical devices manufacturing is also a growing industry backed by the presence of supply chain for manufacturing such as tool and die, chemicals, semiconductors, plastics, and metal parts necessary in the production of medical devices and its parts,” he said.

Lopez said as the government aims to build its healthcare facilities, demand for medical devices is expected to increase.

“The local medical device market is projected to have a compound annual growth rate of 8.8 percent and would rise to USD884.3 million by the end of 2024,” he said.

The DTI chief said Japanese firms likewise have a big market to tap in the domestic construction sector driven by the government’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, housing backlog, office space requirement, transport sector demand, supply chain industry, power demand, and demand for more healthcare facilities.

Under the “Build, Build, Build” program, the government has a total of 119 infrastructure flagship projects.

Japanese firms were also encouraged to look into opportunities in the residential sector as the housing backlog is expected to reach 12.4 million units by 2030, while the office market needs nearly 370,000 square meters of office spaces between 2021 and 2025.

Lopez further said there is also growing demand in the transport sector, with transport infrastructure requiring investments amounting to USD100 billion for the next decade.

With the growing economy, demand for power is also expected to increase.

The local supply chain industry, on the other hand, requires investment amounting to PHP14.07 billion in the next 10 years, particularly investments for warehouses, cold storage facilities, container yards, and integrated logistics depots.

With the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Lopez said there is an urgency to build more healthcare facilities in the country.

“The Philippine health system is limited to cope with the growing number of confirmed and suspected cases. The current hospital bed-to-population ratio is at 1:984,” the top trade official said.

In the first quarter of the year, Japan was the top source of investment pledges in investment promotion agencies amounting to USD215.36 million.

Source: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1152847