The Philippines’ top economic officials highlighted the country’s budding economic recovery and promising medium- and long-term growth prospects before more than 300 guests from Japanese corporate and financial institutions, during the virtual Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) for Japan.
The PEB aims to drum up Japanese investments in the Philippines that will add momentum to the country’s recovery process. “The Philippines aims not only to regain what was lost from the COVID crisis. We want a “post-COVID-19 Economy” that is stronger, more technologically advanced, more sustainable, and more inclusive than ever before,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said in his presentation.
Diokno said the BSP is actively pursuing a “post-COVID-19 Economy,” such as by promoting financial digitalization and sustainable finance. He added that the BSP’s commitment to maintaining price stability and a stable financial system helps provide an enabling environment for businesses to prosper. Japanese investors are welcome to do business in the Philippines and take advantage of opportunities in the financial sector, the BSP Governor said.
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez presented investment opportunities in the Philippines for Japanese and other foreign investors during his presentation. He also highlighted the valuable economic partnership between the Philippines and Japan.
“Japan has been a strong and important trading partner and investment source of the Philippines, especially in the areas of electronics and medical devices. Last year, Japan was our country’s second major trading partner, our top export market, and our second biggest import source. This continued for January to June 2021, as Japan was our second major trading partner with USD 10.34 billion of trade, an increase of 21 percent compared with the same period in 2020 with USD 8.56 billion,” Secretary Lopez said.
Meanwhile, Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose C. Laurel V cited the productive relations between the Philippines and Japan.
The PEB for Japan was organized by international and Japan-based Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (including SMBC and SMBC Nikko Securities), together with the Philippine Embassy in Japan, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (central bank of the Philippines), and the Philippines’ Department of Finance, National Economic and Development Authority, and Department of Trade and Industry.
Mr. Ryuji Nishisaki, Senior Managing Executive Officer and Co-Head of Global Banking Unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, said, “SMBC Group considers the Philippines as one of the most important countries under our ‘expand franchise in Asia’ strategy. Since we opened a representative office in the Philippines in 1975, we have been providing financial services to Japanese and local customers through our long-standing co-operative relationship with Metrobank. We also acquired shares in RCBC in July this year. Going forward, we will continue to contribute to the economic growth of the Philippines, such as by helping our Japanese clients to invest in the country.”
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. operates a bank branch in Manila (SMBC Philippines), while SMBC Nikko Securities served as sole lead manager for the Philippine government’s Samurai bond issuance last March.