Gma Back From Tokyo With $1b In InvestmentsPublished by MAC on 2007-05-15
Source: Manila Standard ()
GMA back from Tokyo with $1b in investments
PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal Arroyo returned from a four-day official visit to Japan yesterday, bringing with her more than $1 billion in new investments, including a deal with Sumitomo Corp. for nickel mining in Surigao del Norte.
Describing the visit as one of the President's most fruitful missions, Trade Secretary Peter Favila said Mrs. Arroyo was able to drive home her message to Japanese businessmen that the Philippines had "finally arrived as a premier investment destination in Asia."
Mining, power and information technology were investment areas that the Japanese should consider, the President said.
During her visit, Marubeni and Tokyo Electric agreed to invest $500 million more in the power industry, following their $3.5-billion purchase of power plants last year.
The President thanked Tohru Tsuji, chairman of Marubeni, for his company's new investment at their meeting in Tokyo.
In her keynote address at the 13th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia, Mrs. Arroyo told delegates from various countries that the Philippines had achieved 25 successive quarters of economic growth.
From 2001 to 2007, the President said, the Philippines was enjoying an economic upturn while some of its neighbors were going through a recession.
"Today, exports and imports are booming even as the peso strengthens. We had our best year ever in foreign direct investments and with our stock market," she said.
In a meeting with executives at Toyota Motors, she thanked the car manufacturing giant for investing in a transmission plant in Laguna.
As a gesture of appreciation, Toyota executives informed the President that they would donate $3 million to reforest 3,500 hectares of denuded land in Cagayan. Executives of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation assured Mrs. Arroyo that they would continue to support projects in priority sectors in the Philippines. The bank has supported Marubeni's investments in power and Sumitomo's involvement in mining.
In a meeting with bank officials, the President also addressed pending issues regarding Japan's 27th yen loan package.
Before returning to Manila, the President met with members of the Filipino community in Japan and urged them to invest in real estate, the stock market, government bonds and Treasury bills, and small- and medium-scale enterprises to help sustain the country's economic growth. Fel V. Maragay