By Leslie D. Venzon
Some 300 Japanese manufacturing companies operating in China and Japan have expressed interest to relocate their businesses in the Philippines in the next five years.
Takashi Ishigami, president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines Inc., said that some of the firms had already started moving their operations here last year, viewing the Philippines as a very competitive country.
“We have now many inquiries from Japanese firms. There are already 1,700 Japanese companies located here. And we will have more; it can increase by 200 to 300 easily,” he said.
In an interview with the Philippines News Agency on the sidelines of the Joint Foreign Chamber Networking Night, Ishigami said that most of the companies were engaged in information technology (IT) while some others in automotive parts manufacturing.
He said the firms expressed interest in locating their operations in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) area.
Ishigami did not divulge any planned investment details, but noted “it’s a big number. It depends on the companies.”
He said more Japanese companies were establishing their business presence here, owing to Philippine investment and tax incentives given to foreign investors.
“The Philippines has very good investment program and tax incentives for foreign companies particularly those offered by PEZA (Philippine Economic Zone Authority) and BOI (Board of Investments),” he said. “These are giving the Japanese firms opportunities to expand their business.”
Ishigami said China’s rising wages also prompted some firms to move their production here.
He also cited other competitive advantages of the Philippines, including its well educated English-speaking workforce and good quality infrastructure.