The Philippines and Japan have agreed to further strengthen economic and bilateral ties following the seventh meeting of the sub-committee on the improvement of business environment under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).
During the meeting, both countries noted increasing interests and commitments shown by Japanese investors as evidenced by a series of opening of new factories in the Philippines.
Both sides welcomed the strengthening strategic ties between both countries highlighted by the recent visit of Prime Minister Abe and other high-level delegations from Japan.
Issues discussed in the meeting included tax-related issues, affordable, predictable and sustainable supply of electricity, utilization of Batangas and Subic Ports, additional surcharges introduced by SBMA, technical cooperation on global value supply chain analysis for priority sectors, development of the Philippines as a Human Resource Development (HRD) hub and other issues and initiatives related to the improvement of business environment.
Both countries also agreed to ensure transparent, predictable and consistent business environment through the concrete progress made in resolving specific issues. Both sides agreed to make further efforts to reduce outstanding issues before the next meeting of the sub-committee and agreed that continuous dialogues with business communities are important to attract more investments into the Philippines.
JPEPA which entered into force in December 2008, is an important framework for enhancing economic relationship between the two countries. Both sides noted that recent figures related to trade and investment had been very encouraging despite difficult economic situations around the world.
Japan was the largest importer of Philippines’ export marking US $5.19 billion in the first semester of 2013. Philippines’ import from Japan amounted to US $2.61 billion, making Japan the country’s third top source of imports.
Statistics showed that Japan is the second largest investor in the country in terms of investments worth P4.2 billion in the second quarter of 2013 and approved by the investment promotion agencies (IPAs).